When you think of “fruit juice” you probably think of something that contains, well, fruit. You think of an easy way to eat those precious two servings of fruit per day (we all know in this day and age there is no need to chew up food) so why do experts think fruit is less of a juice and more of a sugary unhealthy drink. Is fruit juice really the way to go when it comes to healthy eating? Or is fruit juice really just sugar juice?
Health organisations across the world have encouraged people to cut back on sugary drinks and have even imposed taxes on sugary drinks, yet why isn’t juice included when it contains 20-26 grams of sugar in one cup of juice (250 mils) that’s the same as a 250 ml bottle of coke. Sugary drinks have been linked to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and heart disease, as well as a higher risk of premature death and both fruit juice and soda, have been linked to weight gain and obesity.
But the case for fruit juice isn’t all negative,
Since fruit juice contains vitamins and minerals that soda’s and other sugary drinks lack, it can actually be better for you and fruit juice has been proven to encourage kids to eat fruit and help develop healthy eating skills later in life. An American study showed that 6.9% of men who drank orange juice every day developed poor cognitive function, compared with 8.4% of men who drank orange juice less than once a month, so fruit juice can be linked to increased cognitive health.
While there is no definite answer about the risk and benefits of fruit juice, it’s safe to say to avoid drinking processed drinks and stick to plain old water, but if you must consume a processed drink it’s best to go with fruit juice rather than soda and for the best benefits of fruit juice go for a 100% juice drink with no sugar or sweetener (check ingredient list) as they say “too much of a good thing is a bad thing”