5 Reasons Why Fruit Juice is not as healthy as you think
I love to eat a fruit whole rather than drink the juice. I usually eat granny apples for breakfast after my collagen drink and snack on mandarin oranges throughout the day especially if I feel the urge to snack on something sweet.
If you’re the type who drinks fruit juice regularly, you may want to think again! Many of the nutrients are lost after juices have been processed and packaged. Synthetic nutrients, sugars, artificial flavors and colors are added to packaged juices unlike fresh pressed juices.
However, both are high in fructose and lack the fiber causing blood sugar spikes in your body. When comparing the nutritional facts on a 16-ounce can of soda and a 16-ounce carton of juice, both may contain similar carb and sugar count. In some cases, the packaged juice may have more calories due to the added sugars.
#1 Juice is devoid of fiber
Be aware that even organic juice or no-added sugar juices are devoid of fiber. When eating a fruit whole, the fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar, preventing insulin and glucose spikes. (1)
#2 Juice is high in sugar.
It’s easier to consume fruit juice instead of eating a whole fruit. For example, when eating an orange, you’re going to feel fuller than if you drink an 8-ounce orange juice. A cup of most 100% fruit juices contain 20 to 35 grams of sugar.
So, how much of sugar should we eat a day? The American Heart Association recommends that the maximum amount of added sugar you should consume in a day is 150 grams of calories for men, and 100 grams of calories for women. (2) This is equivalent to 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) and 25 grams (6 teaspoons) respectively.
To put things in perspective, an 8 ounce glass of orange juice may contain 110 calories and 22 grams of sugar, equivalent to roughly 5.5 teaspoons of sugar. In other words, a single 8 ounce glass of orange juice can take up almost all of your sugar allowance for the day.
#3 Nutritionally incomplete
Don’t be fooled by marketing labels such as “100% pure”, “all natural” or “high in Vitamin C”. Packaged juice often contain added synthetic vitamins and preservatives. The fact that the high sugar content far outweighs the vitamin C benefits should really justify your decision to opt out of drinking fruit juice.
#4 May lead to obesity and diabetes
Research have shown that juice increases childhood obesity (3) and also associated with a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. (4) So, how we consume the fruit is important. A one-to-one comparison shows that a whole orange vs a fresh pressed juice from an orange, contain the same amount of calories but the orange juice will have less nutritional value. Compared to a store-bought package juice, calories may be higher due to the added sugar content. Bear in mind… whether sugar is derived naturally or synthetic, sugar will still spike your blood sugar levels which can cause problems with the production of insulin in your body. So, do your due diligence to check the nutrition facts on the label. Avoid juice that contains no fiber and high in sugar content.
#5 May increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
According to a major study conducted, majority of the adults living in the United States consume more added sugar than the recommended for a healthy diet. The chances of dying of a heart disease rose in tandem with the consumption of added sugar in their diet regardless of age, gender, body mass index or level of physical activity. (5)
Not ready to give up your juice? Here are a few healthy ways to enjoy.
#1 Remember, fiber and protein helps slow down the sugar absorption. Drink your fresh-pressed juice with the pulp or add some collagen protein powder.
#2 Add slices of fruit such as citrus, limes, lemons, kiwi, and strawberries to a pitcher of water to make your very own fruit-infused water. Chill in the fridge for a few hours and enjoy the natural sweet taste without the high sugar content.
#3 Enjoy some Kombucha, which is fermented tea loaded with gut friendly bacteria, great for your digestion. You can find Kombucha that contain fruit juice which is not loaded with sugar. Just be sure to check that it has no added sugar.
The Bottom Line
Eating the fruit whole is healthy and beneficial as it offers many nutritional benefits such as vitamins, antioxidants and most importantly fiber which keeps your blood sugar from spiking.
Fruit juice, whether fresh or packaged lack the fiber and may just be as bad as drinking soda. If you rather drink juice instead of eating the fruit whole, drink juice with its natural pulp or add collagen protein powder to slow down the sugar absorption to prevent a sugar spike. You can also sip on kombucha, or infuse your water with your favorite fruit.