The fruit juice industry is growing year over year (and so are we!), with billions of dollars in annual revenue. I grew up on orange juice and apple juice (but I was chunky!). In recent years, trendy brands like Naked Juice and Odwalla have popped up. Even more trending are juice bars that serve freshly juiced fruit to the on-the-go “healthy” people. According to the USDA, 50% of Americans consume more than half of their fruit intake as juice!
Thanks to smart marketing by juice companies, for years, the USDA has allowed fruit juice to be considered as a fruit serving. Millions of kids across the country meet fruit at lunchtime only in the form of apple juice. I have also seen juice drinks made with Chia and it is supposed to be good for you. It is loaded with carbs. (Put chia seeds in your yogurt, don’t drink the juice!)
In its 2010 dietary guidelines, the USDA has better guidelines, but the American public seems to not be aware of it yet.
1. Parents need to monitor the intake of 100% fruit juice for children and adolescents, especially those who are overweight or obese: For most children and adolescents, intake of 100% fruit juice is not associated with body weight. However, limited evidence suggests that increased intake of 100% juice has been associated with higher body weight in children and adolescents who are overweight or obese. And look out for those cute little juice boxes. Loaded with sugar!
Juice can be just as bad, or worse, than cola drinks (sugar!)
2. its 2010 dietary guidelines, the USDA got a bit smarter on the matter:
Increase fruit intake. Eat recommended amounts of fruits and choose a variety of fruits. Choose whole or cut-up fruits more often than fruit juice.
3. Monitor intake of 100% fruit juice for children and adolescents, especially those who are overweight or obese: For most children and adolescents, intake of 100% fruit juice is not associated with body weight. However, limited evidence suggests that increased intake of 100% juice has been associated with higher body weight in children and adolescents who are overweight or obese.
The Problems With Juice Vs Real Fruit
1. Fruit juice, even 100% freshly squeezed, is a concentrated dose of sugar that is quickly ingested by our body, spiking blood glucose levels and straining our pancreas.
2. Juice loses one of the most important nutrients that whole fruit provides – fiber. The cell structure of the fruit keeps the sugars “under control”, and as a result there is no spike in blood glucose levels.
3. Juicing an entire fruit and consuming the juice without filtration may theoretically keep the fiber in your drink, but actually tears down these fiber linings and results in blood glucose spikes as well.
4. While whole pieces of fruit keep you busy and satiated, fruit juice makes you want to drink more.
(It takes 3-4 oranges to make a one-cup serving of orange juice. You can drink a cup of orange juice in 25 seconds and instantly ask for another glass. How long does it take to eat 3 oranges, even if they have been peeled and sectioned for you? After eating 3 oranges, will you eat 3 more?)
5. Fruit is high in carbs. On a diet, you need to keep your choices and portions of fruit limited. About a cup of berries or one small orange is a portion. One cup of strawberries is about 12g carbs, 1/2 cup of blueberries is 21g of carbs, a small orange is about 12g carbs and a medium banana is about 30g of carbs. So, imagine if you are drinking a juice that has all of that in it! A normal sized Odwalla, Naked Juice and Jamba Juice has just under 100g of carbs. You will gain weight drinking juice.
So, in short..,..drink water, sparkling water and add a splash of 100% real juice or squeeze in some, but you should still work to eat fruit and not drink it! Fruit that is not measured out daily could
put weight on you and out too much strain on your pancreas.