Is Fruit Juice Healthy?
Conventional wisdom says that it is. But in reality, it’s a relative matter. Compared to some of the alternatives like alcohol, or Coca-Cola, which is laden with eight teaspoons of sugar per can – Yes, Fruit juice is healthy. But there are so many caveats!
- Fruit juice that comes in a can or tetrapak is not the healthiest option. Most of them are laden with sugar too! Read the label!
- Some of them have chemical flavourings, additives and preservatives added, which are certainly not good for health. Read the label again.
- All of them are pasteurised, which means they have been heated to high temperatures for a short time to kill any bacteria or other microorganisms that may be present. The flip side is that it reduces the vitamin content of the juice – Vitamin C, in particular, is heat sensitive.
- So freshly squeezed juice is the way to go – but be sure NOT to add any sugar to it. And try not to filter it before drinking… read on for details why this is so.
While Fruit juice is ok, the whole fruit is so much better.
· Most of the time, the juice is filtered before drinking. This eliminates most of the fibre in the fruit. Fibre is excellent for our health.
· The first thing fibre does is slows down the rate of absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. Without the fibre, consuming fruit juice results in a spike of glucose levels in our blood, similar to a soft drink!
· Fibre also normalises our bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels too
- The fibre content of fruit fills us up quickly. Most people can’t eat more than two apples at a go, because of the fibre. But a bottle of apple juice, made out of four apples can be guzzled down easily. This results in overconsumption of calories. If you are trying to lose weight, fruit is a much better option than juice.
- There is nutrient loss because of the oxidation that occurs when the insides of the fruit are exposed to air, during the juicing process
- When you eat the whole fruit, you are getting all the nutrients in the fruit, in the right proportion, that nature intended it to be in. However, in the process of juicing, this delicate balance is disturbed.
For toothless individuals or those recovering from illness, freshly squeezed fruit juice, unfiltered, without any sugar added, and consumed immediately after juicing, may be an acceptable alternative. For the rest of us, the whole fruit is a lot better!
By Peter Theobald
Author of "I am NOT a Doctor"
Image Credit : Photo by Zlatko Đurić on Unsplash