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Common Questions About Fruits and Vegetables is a research study conducted by Harvard University to answer the questions you may have about organic products.

“Is fruit bad for me because it contains sugar?”

Sugar gets such a bad rap in the popular press that some people hesitate to eat foods that contain natural sugars, especially fruit. There’s plenty of research exposing the detrimental health effects of eating too much added sugar, but less so with natural sugars. Overall, fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

“Are canned and frozen fruits and vegetables lower in nutrients?”

The answer is, it all depends—on the type of produce, the type of processing, and which nutrients. In general, fresh produce picked at peak maturity offers the highest amount of vitamins and minerals and tastes the best, but soon after harvest these nutrients degrade.

“Are smoothies and juices just as good as eating whole fruits and vegetables?”

Smoothies and freshly squeezed juices are popular with both adults and kids. If you find it hard to chew through the several servings of fruits and veggies recommended daily for good health, you may be tempted to drink them instead. Are they just as healthy, you wonder?
If most or all of the whole fruit and/or vegetable is blended into the beverage (skin, pulp, and flesh), then the nutrients and fiber are preserved, making it nutritionally comparable to eating the ingredients in whole form. In some cases, these “smoothies” may offer high quality nutrition if very fresh produce is used. They may also be easier to digest in a blended texture. However, consuming these same foods in whole form will provide longer term satiety and make it easier to avoid excessive caloric intake. Also, don’t forget the other ingredients that are often added: milk, processed fruit juice, sweeteners, seeds, and protein powders can quickly drive caloric intake upwards of 700-800 calories per serving!

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