When we were children we always had a small juice box at our snack with a built-in straw. They are very popular in Spain: we eat them, above all, at breakfast, but it is not uncommon to find them at other times of the day. We have always thought that they are refreshing and healthy drinks because, after all, they are made of fruit. However, we were wrong.
Without a doubt, one of the most popular juices is the one made with pineapple. The sweet taste of this fruit is liked by many consumers, but they do not only choose it for this reason. This drink is reputed to provide several benefits such as having anti-aging effects or improving digestion. It is important to note that all the nutrients in the juice that provide these benefits are found in the fruit of origin. In fact, the whole pineapple has more.
When we blend a fruit to make juice, we lose a fundamental component: fiber. This element not only serves to improve intestinal transit, but it is one of the factors that make the fruit so healthy: it prevents diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Although the processed pineapple juices that we can buy in the SuperWe also shouldn’t take them natural on a regular basis for these reasons.
Not a piece of fruit
Although some people drink juices because, in this way, it costs them less to meet the recommendations for daily fruit consumption, it is not the same. For years we have been told that we should take 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables every day, but Harvard University recommends that we use another measure. According to your healthy eating scheme, fruits and vegetables should make up 50% of what we eat daily.
These vegetables are mostly made up of water, but they are very important for the amount of healthy vitamins and minerals they contain. They also contain a considerable proportion of sugars and a very important percentage of fiber. By removing this part, fruit sugar does not behave in the same way in the body and some very healthy nutrients are lost. Therefore, a piece of pineapple is not the same as a glass of juice.
Pineapple has more nutrients
If what we want are benefits, we should save the juices for specific moments and eat whole fruit every day. As explained above, pineapple is much more interesting than the juice made from it. Every 100 grams of pineapple has 1.2 grams of fiber: a component that greatly reduces the damage that sugar causes in the body and that has the ability to trap sugars and fats in the digestive system.
On the other hand, pineapple juice is not interesting: its sugar is as dangerous as that added by the spoonful if the fiber disappears and, in addition, some healthy micronutrients are also in that component. That is, when we liquefy the pineapple we not only remove the fiber, but also a part of the micronutrients that is associated with it. When in doubt, you should always prioritize the whole fruit.
Has a high glycemic index
When we eat foods that are a source of carbohydrates, the body is responsible for breaking them down into simpler sugars. The simplest sugar is glucose and when it is absorbed into the blood, our pancreas releases insulin to control its levels. Long-term high blood sugar levels damage some organs and predispose to cardiovascular diseases; this is what happens with people with diabetes.
When we eat fruit we take sugar together with fiber and this causes glucose to pass little by little into the bloodstream and no peaks form. However, juices, even if they are natural, do not have fiber and, therefore, the glucose they contain passes quickly into the bloodstream. Sugar levels skyrocket in no time, and the pancreas is forced to produce a lot of insulin in no time. If the pancreas is strained too much, type 2 diabetes can develop.
Juice makes you fat
Foods that, like pineapple juice, raise blood glucose in a very short time are said to have a high glycemic index. By creating spikes in blood sugar, some of this substance is not used and the body ends up turning it into fat. However, this is not the only reason why juices are fattening: foods with a high glycemic index also cause hunger more quickly.
The blood glucose curve is closely related to the one representing the sensation of hunger. As if that weren’t enough, epidemiologist Miguel Ángel Martínez-González explains in his book Health for sure that the worst way to take sugar is through liquids: “Our brain interprets the intake of any liquid as if it were just water: no matter how many calories it has, it does not ‘discount’ them or fill us up ”.
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