We’ve all heard that fruit juice is good for our bodies because it packs a whole lot of vitamin C and soda is just gallons of empty calories with zero nutrients. So when someone declares that fruit juice is just as bad as soda, people look at them like they are deluded. However, let’s take a moment to really think about this.
Apart from being rich in nutrients, fruit juice contains natural sugars unlike sodas. In fact, the main sweetener in many sodas is high fructose corn syrup. This is probably one of the reasons why most people have substituted soda with fruit juice.
Fruit juice contains nearly the same amount of sugars as soda. When you eat an orange, the sugars contained in that orange will take much longer to be processed in the body compared to when you drink freshly squeezed juice. This is because the fruit still has the flesh, the pulp and other fibrous parts. However, when you drink orange juice, all these parts of the fruit have been stripped off so it’s basically distilled down to its sweet essence. Sweetened sodas contain about 55% fructose but fruit juices are pure fructose.
It takes 2-4 medium sized oranges to make one cup of orange juice. It’s much easier for people to drink the juice and even help themselves to another cup than to sit down, peel and eat 4 oranges at once. Keep in mind that fruit juices are fructose liquid bombs and our livers are designed to process fructose.
High levels of fructose in our bodies causes a number of problems:
a) It prevents the production of insulin
b) It increases the level of triglycerides, which consequently increases the risk factor for heart disease.
c) It leads to “love handles” or belly fat, which in turn puts you at a greater risk for diabetes.
Eating your fruits whole is better than drinking juice or sodas. Unless you eat a whole ton of fruits in one sitting, it’s highly unlikely that you will have a problem with fructose. The metabolic effects of eating whole fruit are different because of all the fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, which help to slow down and improve metabolism.