We all know of the benefits of fruit and the juices they contain, and the enormous benefit they can provide to a growing body. However we can easily be fooled into thinking that store bought juices are a ‘healthy’ option over soft drinks and over beverages. Marketing plays a major role in this, and the unfortunate truth is that many (not all) fruit juices contain ‘hidden’ dangers that we should all be made aware of before serving them to our children.
“A single serving of so-called healthy fruit juice has been found to contain the same amount of sugar as three-and-a-half doughnuts or 13 hobnob biscuits.” – www.dailymail.co.uk
“During a 22-year evaluation as part of the Nurses’ Health Study, more than 88,000 women self-reported their sugar sweetened beverage intakes. When lifestyle and other dietary factors were accounted for, the results showed that as few as two high-sugar drinks daily correlated with higher heart disease risk.” -www.cookinglight.com
These are staggering and worrying figures. The sugar content of many popular juices can be 500mL Blackcurrant Ribena juice, containing a whopping 52 grams of sugar, or the equivalent sugar content of 13 Oreo cookies.
The simple rule is to check the sugar content per serve of all juices you buy, and double check that the package hasn’t fudged the serving size to a quarter of a glass!
Store bought juices? Check the ingredients panel for “emulsifiers” or thickeners such as lecithin and guar gum. I think you know these aren’t naturally occurring juice ingredients.
If you’re buying juices from a store or service, though, you’ll want to be extra careful about what else goes into those juices. In p8articular, watch out for “emulsifiers” or thickeners like soy lecithin and guar gum.
This means that the juice was subjected to extreme heat in order to keep it preserved. The result, a destruction of all the nutrients and vitamins, along with any natural enzymes that typically aid with the digestion of the juice. Solution: Juice your own fruit.
Even drinking just two glasses of juice per day, can have a lasting and damaging effect long term. The amount of sugar in two standard glasses of juice will potentially give you a sweet tooth that makes you crave higher calorie food.
It is claimed that overweight or obese people have a dulled sensitivity to fruit juice drinks, but an enhanced subconscious liking of the sweet taste.
“We are headed for a multi-level health disaster with rising obesity levels and the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes.” – Hans-Peter Kubis, of the university’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences
There is no need to throw out all your juices in a fit of panic, and ban it from your household, but to exercise a little restriction when it comes to the quantity and frequency your children (and yourself) are consuming store bought juices. Fill up glasses half way, consume more water, and check the ingredients panels for the contents of the above before purchasing.