Are We Really Just Drinking Sugar?

Krishna K.

According to a research project conducted in February, fruit juice could be as bad for us as sugary drinks, such as pop, because of its high sugar content.

Many people believe that fruit juice provides you with a part of your daily fruit intake. Naveed Sattar (a professor of Metabolic Medicine) and Dr. Jason Gill, who both work at Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, disagree. They believe that having fruit juice as one of the five servings is “counter-productive,” since people consider fruit juice as a healthy option and don’t limit their intake of it, which is the case with most unhealthy food choices.

Professor Sattar and Dr. Gill are urging juice companies to inform consumers through a label that they should not be drinking more that 150mL of the product per day. Dr. Gill says, “There seems to be a clear misperception that fruit juices and smoothies are low-sugar alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages.”

1L Apple Juice = 120g of sugar, 355mL = 42.6g of sugar   1l of Coke = 104 g of sugar, 355mL = 39g of sugar  1L of Apple Orange Peach Juice = 120g of sugar, 355mL = 42.6g of sugar

1L Apple Juice = 120g of sugar, 355mL = 42.6g of sugar
1l of Coke = 104 g of sugar, 355mL = 39g of sugar
1L of Apple Orange Peach Juice = 120g of sugar, 355mL = 42.6g of sugar

Not only is there a link between high sugar content in drinks and heart disease, but there is also a link between high fruit juice intake and diabetes. Professor Sattar explains, “Fruit juice has a similar energy density and sugar content to other sugary drinks, for example: 250ml of apple juice typically contains 110kcal and 26 g of sugar; and 250ml of cola typically contains 105kcal and 26.5g of sugar. One glass of fruit juice contains substantially more sugar than one piece of fruit; in addition, much of the goodness in fruit – fiber, for example – is not found in fruit juice, or is there in far smaller amounts.”

In the paper that Professor Sattar and Dr. Gill wrote, they held an experiment where the participants drank half a liter of pure grape juice every day for three months. The results showed that it led to insulin resistance and bigger waists, despite the juice’s high antioxidants.

The researchers are convincing people to reduce consumption of fruit juice, not making them stop drinking it.

Also, some pictures via sugarstacks.com

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