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You’re not alone if you think drinking fruit juice is going to make you feel full longer. It’s true that it contains fruit and thus contains more fiber than a regular glass of soda. But this isn’t going to stop the hunger from returning. I’m a huge fan of juices, smoothies, and other such concoctions so it pains me to tell you this.
Fruit juices aren’t as healthy as you may think
Fruit juices may seem like a healthy choice, but they’re actually quite harmful.
The first and foremost problem with juices is that they lack fiber, which is an essential macronutrient to include in your diet.
Fiber is important for gut health and weight management. Consuming fiber makes you feel full, curbs cravings and reduces your overall calorie consumption.
Fruit juices are also high in sugar, which increases the risk of diabetes and obesity when consumed regularly.
Juice is full of sugar, but it doesn’t fill you up like solid food does
Juice is full of sugar, but it doesn’t fill you up like solid food does. That’s because when you drink juice, it gets to your stomach immediately, so your body never has a chance to register the feeling of being full.
“When you drink something, there is nothing to chew,” says Elizabeth Somer, RD., author of Food & Mood and Eat Your Way to Happiness. “You don’t get that feeling in your mouth or the sensation that your stomach is full.”
This can be a big issue for dieters who are used to having juice as a snack or meal replacement. If they don’t feel satisfied from their 100-calorie juice, they’re likely to overindulge later in the day.
Fruit juices are extremely calorically dense
Fruit juices are extremely calorically dense, so you can easily drink a lot of calories without feeling full. A 12-ounce glass of cranberry juice cocktail, for example, contains 140 calories, which is more than most people need to drink in an entire day.
Drinking fruit juice is also not very satisfying. The body absorbs liquid carbohydrates very quickly and liquid calories don’t fill you up as well as the same amount of calories from solid food. So when you drink fruit juice, it’s easy to consume a lot of extra calories without realizing it.
That’s why juice should be considered a treat, not part of your everyday diet.
The digestive process is key to feeling satisfied
Juice is basically liquid sugar. It’s sweet, so people like it, but it’s not filling. There’s a very good reason for that.
The digestive process is key to feeling satisfied. The act of chewing food and swallowing triggers the release of saliva and gastric juices, which lubricate food particles and begin the digestive process. Liquids, on the other hand, are already in their smallest form, and don’t require this type of prep work.
The stomach is also involved with the satisfaction response to food. After you eat, your stomach expands as it fills with digested food and water. This sends a message to your brain that you’re full and need to stop eating. However, liquids don’t fill up the stomach the same way solid foods do, so you never feel that “I’m full” sensation after drinking juice or other similar beverages.
Juice may be nutritious, but it’s not very satisfying. Without feeling full, there’s nothing to say “stop drinking.” This can lead to over-consumption of calories — something that doesn’t happen as easily when we eat solid foods.
Are there any health benefits to drinking juice? Maybe, but it depends on the type of juice you drink and how often you consume it. Either way, it’s most certainly not a substitute for eating whole fruits. Juicing might seem like an efficient way to get more nutrients, but in reality, drinking juice is not as healthy as it seems.