Many people I know decide to have fruit juice because they believe it is more "healthy". But the fact that fruit itself is healthy does not mean fruit juice is. It has a lot of sugar and a lot of calories, and has often been linked to obesity and weight gain, so I think it is important to know the risks drinking it can have, especially for children. So if you commonly drink fruit juice, you may have a great increase in weight, and, as an extension, you could develop hypertension, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, etc. The sugar contained within fruit however is broken down slowly due to the presence of fibre. Therefore, most fruit is low G.I, whereas when we juice, we are removing this fibre and releasing the sugars from cells etc meaning it is.much more readily absorbed. Any fruit juice. Fruit has a lot of sugars in it but they have fibers. When juiced there is not enough fiber left, so you only get the sugars. I dont remember all the details, but fruit juice companies jump through soooo many loopholes. Its actually disgusting
Of course it matters. Plenty of fruit have much lower amounts of fructose than others. Lemons, cranberries and raspberries have much lower amounts than say grapes, apples and pineapples. Yes adding sugars or extracting the fruit to the point that all the good stuff is stripped away and the final product is just the fruits sugar only. Which can add up bevause thats the only thing that is being used so there is no health benefit.
It’s no secret that kids (and some of us adults) love fruit juice. Many of us grew up drinking fruit juice, and parents often think 100% fruit juice is healthy. But is it really?
UC Davis Health pediatricians Lena Rothstein and Dean Blumberg tackled this juicy topic in their podcast Kids Considered:
We often like the taste of fruit juice because it’s a sweet drink. But it’s no secret that sweet often means more sugar, even if it’s natural sugar.
Think about whole fruits that are sweeter – they have more natural sugars that make them taste sweet. Same goes for those 100% fruit juices, which may not have any added sugars. Too much sugar of any kind isn’t healthy.
Fruit juices often have added flavors, food coloring or other additives.
In addition, news came out in January that many fruit juices can contain lead or other metals, according to Consumer Reports.
The study looked at 24 national and private label brands and tested 45 juices of different flavors. Many of them had elevated levels of lead, according to the report. These metals can lead to neurodevelopmental problems in children.
Does 100% fruit juice still have sugar?
Now back to the sugar concerns: Fruit juices are a concentrated source of sugar for children.
In one popular apple juice brand, which we have chosen not to name, one 4 oz. box contained 14 grams of sugar. That equals about 3 teaspoons of sugar. In a 6 oz. box of a popular orange juice, it was found to have 18 grams of sugar, or a little more than 4 teaspoons.
If you compare that to a can of soda, in terms of volume, it’s about the same – and those are fruit juices with no added sugar.
Is eating whole fruit that much better than drinking fruit juice?
Yes! Whole fruits provide fiber by way of the skin and pulp. Fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer, lower cholesterol and help control blood pressure. It’s also associated with living longer, studies suggest.
In addition, whole fruits contain some vitamins that don’t make it into the juice. Some edible fibers in the skin and pulp are removed during the juicing process.
Whole fruit also takes longer to eat causing a slower calorie intake, which can decrease the risk of obesity. Finally, fruit juice has more concentrated sugar and calories as compared to whole fruit.
What other negative impacts can fruit juice have?
Drinking fruit juice can replace consuming other beneficial liquids, like breast milk for babies or water for the rest of us.
The more concentrated sugar and calories in fruit juice can lead to obesity and inappropriate weight gain. Excessive weight gain is associated with high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and other negative health issues later in life.
Is it safer to dilute fruit juice with water?
Not necessarily. Even diluted juice can increase the risk of cavities and decrease the chance of drinking other beneficial liquids.
My child loves fruit juice, so is there a safe amount to give them?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 1 year of age drink no fruit juice. It is ok for children 1 to 3 years of age to drink up to 4 oz. per day, but parents should focus on offering whole fruit or water instead.
Children ages 4 to 6 can have 4 to 6 oz. of fruit juice per day. Children older than 6 should not drink more than 8 oz. per day, which is basically a small glass.
Children who are overweight or obese should eliminate juice from their diet.
A few juicy words of advice for parents from the pediatricians:
Kids Considered: Fruit Juice – Friend or Foe?
American Academy of Pediatrics News: Added sugar in kids’ diets: How much is too much?
CNN: It’s not just soda: Drinking too much fruit juice (or any sugary drink) linked to premature death risk
Bloomberg: Now Fruit Juice is Linked to a Higher Cancer Risk
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