The conventional mindset has always been that drinking fruit juice is healthy, especially pure fruit juice.
We purchase fruit juice and fruit smoothies thinking that it will help our health and weight loss efforts by starting our day with something we believe is packed with vitamins.
We think we are giving our kids a healthy alternative by letting them drink box after box of “pure fruit juice”. It’s pure fruit juice, so it has to be good for us, right?
We’ve been continually programmed to believe that juice, whether its store bought or freshly made, seems to be a pretty healthy choice.
However, contrary to popular belief, juice, purchased from the store, is really not that far from drinking pure liquid sugar. And in truth, it’s not much better than drinking a soda.
Despite the fact that you or your children may be consuming a drink that says “100% pure fruit juice”, it may as well just say “100% pure sugar”.
In fact, although you may have thought you were making a healthier choice over sodas or other processed drinks with added sugar, you may be drinking something equally as bad or even worse.
The sugar that comes from fruit is fructose. The same sugar that’s in none other than high fructose corn syrup. And pure fructose is not a healthy sweetener, in spite of its natural source.
Fructose, unless it is wrapped up in a whole fruit, is not only bad news for your waistline, but for your whole body.
Fructose is a non-essential dietary sugar that science is showing as having a strong link to many chronic and metabolic health issues including:
- Weight gain & Obesity,
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- High LDL cholesterol
Additionally, it’s also thought that fructose has some very definitive and threatening ties to cancer.
And while juice is okay in the form of whole fruit, because of the fact that you’re not getting a large, concentrated measure of it, drinking fructose in the form of fruit juice will undoubtedly lead you down a path of poor health.
For example, let’s say you drink a 12oz glass of juice, you’ve just hit your system with a whopping 37 grams of sugar, mostly in the form of fructose, which happens to be more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sugar intake.
And when you have a 12oz glass of apple juice, you are gulping down an astronomical 40g of sugar! That’s more than a can of soda!
But wait, it even gets worse—a similar sized glass of grape juice–white or red–contains almost 60g of sugar! That’s like having a can and a half of soda!
Drinking a mixed juice ‘cocktail’ is no better, even if it only contains pure fruit juice. Most often concentrated white grape juice, or apple juice is added for sweetness, which adds even more sugar to the mix!
Check out the sugar grams in Tropicana Berry Punch, or Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice. It’s a massive amount of sugar!
And don’t be fooled into believing that the calories and sugar, are worth the vitamins you may get, because they’re not. There is very little vitamin C, antioxidants or anything else of benefit in bottle fruit juice.
Juice Contains No Fiber
One of the major drawbacks with fruit juice is that it contains no fiber making it a highly concentrated source of liquid sugar—the worst kind you can consume. And because it’s in liquid form it’s easy to consume massive amounts in a very short period of time.
Some of this sugar, the glucose portion, goes straight into your bloodstream, causing an immediate insulin response—which, in turn, takes sugar out of the bloodstream and stores it as fat. The perfect recipe for quick weight gain.
However, what’s even worse is the fructose portion, gets sent straight to the liver for processing, where it is quickly turned into fat cells directly in the liver. This, in turn, creates a fast track to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which now affects nearly one-third of the entire American population. The rest of those fat cells turn into triglycerides, one of the precursors for heart disease.
Additionally, due to the release of insulin, many of these fat cells are quickly stored in various parts of the body, particularly the:
In fact, this particular study showed how just one glass of grape juice a day caused insulin resistance and increased waist size in just three months. Not only that, but 2 servings of juice a day also doubles your chance for developing painful gout. (1)
Another big problem with liquid calories is that you still continue to eat as much or more in addition to its consumption. The reason for this is they just don’t make you feel full, and in most cases make you hungrier, making sugary drinks like juice one of the most fattening things you can put in your body. (2)
One of the growing problems in the U.S. and other countries is the high rate of childhood obesity, and one of the biggest contributors to this is sweet drinks such as juice and soda.
How Most Juice is Made
It doesn’t get squeezed or pressed straight from the farm into a carton, like the commercials trend to show.
Most processed juice—even 100% juice—that you buy in a store, undergoes a very unnatural process to get from the fruit to your glass. And it’s not really even 100% pure juice.
For example, orange juice is picked from the orchards, the juice extracted out, heated and pasteurized, and then stored in gigantic vats, where the oxygen is removed so it can be stored for up to a year or more.
Removing the oxygen removes a lot of the flavor, so big juice companies hire flavor and fragrance people to formulate “flavor packs” that make the orange juice taste like oranges again.
That is why big juice companies like Tropicana and Minute Maid, always taste exactly the same. It’s because these chemically altered flavor packs are added to a virtually tasteless liquid that has been sitting in a huge tank somewhere, for many months.
If you’re drinking fruit juice, especially store bought, they are all heated and pasteurized to kill off bacteria, yeasts, and other pathogens, thus reducing the beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, and other healthy compounds found in whole fruit.
Additionally, the fiber is removed as well, which further degrades the juice and makes it much easier to enter the bloodstream and raise blood sugar levels.
In the long run, by looking closely at the products you buy you may undoubtedly be shocked at how many sugar calories you and your children have been drinking. You and your kids will be far better off if you steer clear of the juices and sugary drinks and find an alternate way to quench your thirst.
Trust me when I say, your body and health will show vast improvements if you sidestep these insidious beverages!