Q: How healthy is 100 percent fruit juice?
A: When you eat a whole piece of fruit, you get the benefits of not just its vitamins and minerals but also of its natural fiber.
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But when you drink fruit juice, you’re basically drinking fortified soda — including lots of added sugar. For example, an 8-ounce bottle of a popular 100% Apple Juice has 28 grams of sugar — the same as an 8-ounce can of a popular cola.
Similarly, fruit that’s been processed into jam and jelly often has high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a main ingredient.
The prevalence of HFCS in processed foods is linked to the U.S. rise in diabetes and obesity-related health problems. (Our per capita consumption — 55 pounds per of the sweetener per year — is highest in the world.)
For something sweet and healthy to spread on your peanut butter sandwich, try making chia seed jam instead. It’s easy, and chia seeds are brimming with heart-healthy omega-3 fats and fiber.
—Diabetes Center dietitian Hillary Sullivan, RDN, LD