The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend two cups of fruit each day at the 2,000 calorie level. Although the USDA dietary guidelines provide that a cup of 100 percent fruit juice can count as a daily serving of fruit, an article in Consumer Reports, Forget The Juice And Eat The Whole Fruit Instead As Good (6/25/17) by Catherine Roberts takes issue with that advice from the USDA.
A key reason: fruit juice contains little fiber, if any. Most Americans substantially under-consume fiber, according to Wendy White, Ph.D., R.D., an associate professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University cited by reporter Roberts. And fiber is linked with health benefits including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and constipation.
Fiber also helps you feel fuller longer, and that can help control bodyweight. Juice leaves the stomach faster than a piece of whole fruit. As a result, fruit juice is less filling, according to Prof. White.
We recently referenced in an earlier post a recent article in the 8-page newsletter, Focus on Healthy Aging, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which provided a list of nine fruits, recommended by Mount Sinai nutrition consultant, Fran Grossman, to give your health a fruit boost. In the earlier post, we noted that the list included cherries, described as a good source of anthocyanins as well as calcium and potassium.
The nine fruits noted by nutrition consultant, Fran Grossman, also included berries, particularly blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and acai and goji berries. Why? All are packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E, and the anthocyanins that give berries their red or purple hue.
Antioxidants help combat fee radicals, which are naturally occuriring molecules that may contribute to the systemic inflammation that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, and dementia, notes Grossman. And her recommendation to eat fruit is also confirmed in Foods to Cut Dementia Risk (5/26/20) by Nicholas Bakalar in the New York Times.
Bakalar cites a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which looked at nearly 3,000 men and women 50 and older and free of dementia at the start. Over an average of 20 years of follow-up, researchers gathered diet information at five periodic health examinations.
During that time 193 of the participants developed Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The study found that intake of one type of flavonoid, anthocyanins . . . had the strongest association with lowered risks.
A bountiful patch of raspberries in this gardener’s backyard has been bountiful in late June. Nature’s fruitfulness is particularly valued as we endure the challenges of the coronavirus in this summer of food insecurity for too many.
(Frank W. Barrie, July 1, 2020)