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So without further ado; I welcome you to our first post!
When we hear about sugary drinks and the negative effects that they have on one's health, it's natural to assume that the culprits here are soft drinks and store-bought packaged and processed "fruit juice". Certainly sugar free freshly squeezed fruit juice is still good for you. Right?
Well, as it turns out, more and more nutritionists and dieticians are beginning to cast serious doubt on the idea that natural fruit juice is good for you at all. In fact, as more and more studies are done and more and more evidence comes to light; it’s starting to look like natural fruit juice may very well be just as bad for you as the bubbly and syrupy drinks that come in cans and boxes. So let's have a look at some of the reasoning.
Vitamins and Minerals
Sure, natural fruit juice may have more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than any soft drink, but many studies such as one published in the esteemed diabetes and endocrinology journal "The Lancet" show that the elevated levels of sugar in natural fruit juices make them damaging to your health for the same reasons that soft drinks and other sugar laden beverages are. The negative blood sugar disrupting effects of fruit juice far outweighs the nutrition within a regular 500ml bottle.
Wait! It’s got MORE sugar?
It's clear that any benefits to drinking fresh fruit juice are cancelled out by the negative effects brought on by its elevated levels of sugar.
Moreover, it appears that the perception among the public regarding exactly how much sugar there is in fruit juice is pretty far from the truth too. For instance, in one survey, more than 2000 participants were asked to indicate how much sugar they believed was in soft drinks and how much they believed was in fruit juice. The participants concluded on average that fruit juices must contain roughly half of the sugar that they actually do. Whereas those same participants were under the impression that the carbonated drinks actually contained more sugar than they actually do.
The reality is that natural fruit juice; whether made yourself or by a big factory, often has just as many calories and just as much sugar as soft drinks. What sets fruit juice apart from your regular fizzy wizzy tasty drink are the nutrients contained within. So now you might be thinking “oh, so fruit juice is still good for you then?” but the problem with fruit juice is that it still contains a whopping amount of sugar which may actually prevent your body from absorbing all of those nutrients in the juice
The Very Act Of Juicing Fruit Depletes Its Nutritional Value
“But fruit juice that's naturally unsweetened has to be good because it's fruit. FRUIT! What's wrong with having fruit in your diet?”
Nothing's wrong with having fruit in your diet, but this should be whole fruit and whole fruit only. You see, when we eat a piece of fruit, the digestive process is totally different to when you guzzle down half a litre of its juiced from. This process starts in the mouth where it takes a significant effort to chew and swallow a piece of fruit. Furthermore, digestive enzymes in the saliva help break down fruit.
There are a lot of fibrous structures in fruit that bind up all of the sugar. Because fibre is near impossible to digest, the sugar is broken down slowly, and then sent to the liver in smaller, easier to manage packets. (The majority of the sugar in fruit is fructose, and the liver is the only organ that can properly handle this substance)
In contrast, when fruit is blended up in a juicer all of the sugar is set free from the fibre that binds it and it rushes to the liver all at once. When the liver takes in fructose faster than it can process it, the excess turns into fat
The Final Word
So what's the take from all of this?
- Well, we shouldn't underestimate the large quantities of sugar found in fruit juice. There is a lot of sugar in unsweetened fruit juice. As a result, despite the fact that fruit juice does have lots of beneficial anti-oxidants, drinking it on a daily basis carries some pretty scary health risks.
- You are much better off going with plain water. If you can't handle drinking water all day everyday, try out our PowerTea for a sweet and hydrating kick without the guilt.
- Fruit juice is not the same as eating whole fruit; much of the nutritional value of fruits is retained in the pulp and the skin and is destroyed by the juicing process.
- Fruit juice raises the blood sugar level far quicker than eating whole fruit.
- Remember; if its fruit but you cant chew it, don't have it. This goes for smoothies sweetened with fruit too.