Soda, Meet Your Evil Twin: Fruit Juice

Posted: Jun 01 in Healthy Eating Menu by

To lose weight, avoid soda and fruit juice.For nearly a decade, our nation’s war on obesity has been pointing fingers to sugary drinks and sodas. Just a few short hours from Syracuse, the mayor of New York City proposed a ban on 16+ ounce sugary drinks and sodas.

There is yet another culprit contributing to the national obesity epidemic and it happens to be soda’s evil twin: fruit juice. For those trying to lose weight, recent studies revealed that fruit juice isn’t necessarily a better alternative to soda and other sugary drinks.

How can juice squeezed from a healthy food be so unhealthy?

One obesity specialist remarks that fruit juice is just like soda. The good part of the fruit is the fibrous inside, but when you squeeze the juice from a piece of fruit you leave the healthiest part behind. The calories and sugar delivered in the fruit’s liquid form will not trigger the body’s feelings of hunger and can possibly lead to excess consumption.

Several studies report a correlation between increased fruit-juice consumption and increased risk of obesity and diabetes, and a lot of consumers are not aware that many fruit drinks contain just as much sugar as soda. What’s more, commercial fruit juice is typically derived from concentrates. This often results in higher sugar content than if the product was squeezed directly from a piece of fruit.

The US Department of Agriculture guidelines recommend approximately two cups of fruit per day, most of which should consist of whole fruit. However, if consumers are drinking their fruit juice instead of eating whole fruit, their consumption would easily be capped with 1 cup to 8 ounces of juice per day. Critics counter these claims by arguing some juices, like orange juice, provide consumers with their recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and folic acid, despite their on-par sugar content with soda, however you can get these same vitamins in the whole fruit, or with a multivitamin.

If you’re a patient of medical weight loss, you may want to think twice about drinking your daily fruit allowance instead of eating it. Here are some scary sugary drink facts beverage companies may not want you know:

  • According to the FDA, any drink can be labeled a “fruit drink” as long as it has some fruit juice in it—even less than one percent.
  • Most fruit drinks contain only 10 percent real fruit juice.
  • Just eight ounces of the popular fruit drink Snapple Apple contains 27 grams of sugar. The same amount of regular Coca-Cola contains 26 grams of sugar. To put this in food perspective, two and a half Krispy Kreme doughnuts contain 25 grams of sugar.
  • The 16 most sugary beverages on the market today are all fruit drinks—not sodas.

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to avoid high-caloric sugary drinks whether they contain “fruit” juice or not. Make sure you scrutinize drink labels before consuming to check their sugar and calorie content. If you’re thirsty, drink the best thing there is for you—water. If you’re having trouble cutting out unhealthy sugary drinks from your diet speak with your weight loss doctor for support. And, as always, with children in particular, water and low fat milk are the best beverages.

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