The Truth About Juice

In my childhood, fruit juice was a reasonably standard drink. My parents used to give me apple or orange juice as a vitamin C supplement. They knew the juice contained sugar, but their main concern was that the sugar would provide me with tooth decay.

We now know that there are good reasons to be concerned about the sugar in these drinks.

Taking too much sugar increases your risk of having a stroke and developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, and some types of cancer.

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The Amount Of Sugar In The Juice

All fruit juices are high in sugar, whether it’s apple, orange, grape juice, or a blend of peach, mango, and blueberries. A 230 ml (8 ounces) serving of juice contains about 30 grams of sugar on average or almost eight teaspoons. It is as much as the same serving of cola-type soft drink.

Also, most commercial juices do not contain the most nutritious parts of the fruit, such as the rind and pulp, which are essential sources of fiber and nutrients. Therefore, it is best to eat the whole fruit to get more fiber and reduce sugar consumption.

Think about it: you are unlikely to eat three apples at once, but it is easy to drink 230ml of juice.

Sugar In Orange Juice And Soft Drinks

Yes, fruit juice contains “natural” sugar, but that doesn’t make it healthier than the sugar in soft drinks. The WHO classifies the sugar in fruit drinks, like the sugar in soft drinks, as “free sugars.”

Heart & Stroke recommends that people reduce their intake of free sugars to make up less than 10% of total calories (ideally less than 5%). For an adult consuming 2,000 calories per day, this works out to a maximum of 50 grams (or 12 teaspoons) per day of free sugars from all sources, including candies, pastries, soft drinks, and juices. For children, it is even less: we are talking about 8 or 9 teaspoons.

Children are the biggest consumers of juice, which is a problem when fluid replaces other nutritious foods.

However, the juice has a positive aspect: it contains certain nutrients. Studies show that consuming 140 ml or less per day reduces the risk of heart disease. Therefore, drinking a little fruit juice would be acceptable, but consuming too much sugar, regardless of the source (even fruit juice), is strongly discouraged for health.

Vegetable Juices

What about commercial vegetable juice? Tomato juices might only contain two teaspoons of sugar per 230ml, but they also have 650mg of salt, which is enormous. It is not a healthy option.

For some time now, cold-pressed vegetable juices, which are low in sugar and contain no added salt, have been stealing the show. Think of celery and parsley drinks.

Is a drink made with green vegetables, celery, cucumber, and ginger nutritious? Of course, if you can afford it. It is a better choice than sweet fruit juice. However, beware of liquids made with vegetables high in sugar (carrots, sweet potatoes, beets), and vegetable juices also contain fruit to sweeten the taste.

Cold-pressed juices are more nutritious than traditional commercial juices made from concentrate because they are less processed and not hot pasteurized. I have yet to see any comprehensive comparative clinical studies of nutritional benefits and no exact data.

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One word of caution: Excessive juice consumption may pose specific risks for people who take blood thinners or have kidney disease. Discuss with your doctor before consuming a large amount of juice, regardless of the type.

These do not detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system, or cure cancer. There is no scientific evidence that juice is better than fruits or vegetables. While a small amount of fluid can be part of a healthy diet, you will save money and time by eating fruits and vegetables instead. You will also avoid consuming too much sugar.

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