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Fruit Juice Could Be as High In Sugar as Soda

It’s difficult in today’s world to determine which sugars are good for you and which sugars aren’t, and as the battle with obesity grows stronger it’s only becoming more and more troublesome to predict which foods and drinks do more harm than good. Unfortunately, one of the problems that many people have when it does come to making healthy eating choices is that even when they take something nutritious over something full of empty calories, they tend to over consume. The age old adage, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, is true in this instance, because even loading up with too many fruits and vegetables can take its toll, as was proven in recently published research about the high sugar level of fruit juice.

The Facts

The study was published by Professor Naveed Sattar, who teaches Metabolic Medicine and Dr. Jason Gill in The Lancer Diabetes and Endocrinology. Both researchers work for the institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at Glasgow University in Glasgow, Scotland. Their recent findings have caused them to call for the United Kingdom to change food and nutrition guidelines, which currently call for five servings of fruit or veg a day, including fruit juice, to remove one of these servings, or remove fruit juice from the list entirely. The Syndney Morning Herald states: “Fairfax Media found a bottle of Coles' Finest Australian cloudy apple juice contains more kilojoules and carbohydrates than a bottle of Coca-Cola, based on an average of 100ml.”

They believe that by including this information in the health guidelines, citizens will assume that fruit isn’t something they should be wary of overeating, and the high levels of sugar will continue to raise obesity statistics and the level of heart disease in the UK and globally. The outcome of their study also caused Professor Sattar and Dr. Gill to question food companies on their handling of products and the labels that they use so that consumers won’t drink more than 150ml of fruit juice at a time.

Fruit Sugar Findings

In 2012 Harvard University researchers determined that sugary drinks significantly raised the level of risk for future heart disease, especially in men. The findings were published in a journal called Circulation, and followed further information that had been released two years prior by the American Heart Association that reported that the past decade has seen a huge rise in heart disease and diabetes in Americans due to the high consumption of sweet beverages. Medical News Today reports: “Fruit juice has come under the spotlight since medical experts recently started looking more closely at the link between high sugar intake and the risk for heart disease.”

The misconception that many people have regarding fruit juice is that it’s natural and healthy, so it must be okay to drink in great quantities. Many people who have trouble dieting find their comfort in this naturally sweet drink, but the problem is that anything that is as sweet as fruit juice will always have high sugar content, whether it’s natural or not. Fructose, the sugar that is found in fruit, is often used, as glucose is, in many products throughout the world as a sweetening agent.

Comparing Fruit Juice To Soda

Another problem that fruit juices face is that many of them are sweetened with sugar, and while there are vitamins present in a piece of fruit or all natural fruit juice, it seems to be zapped from these extra sugary beverages. In fact, Dr. Gill has been noted as explaining that the nutrients that are still found in these sweetened juices aren’t enough to offset the unhealthy effects that too much fruit juice has on the human body. Fruitnet.com explains: “Orange juice is as bad for you as Coca-Cola, the UK governments leading advisor on obesity has warned.”

When comparing this type of beverage to soda and other sugary drinks, it can be easy to assume that it has far less sugar and far more nutrition inside one bottle, but findings would suggest otherwise. 250ml of apple juice is labeled as having 26g of sugar and 110 calories, while cola is normally 105 calories and has 26.5g of sugar.

Don’t Discount Your Fruit

The findings in these studies showed that fruit juice was causing problems related to heart health and diabetes, but the findings regarding full, unprocessed fruits eaten as a whole was entirely different. Fruit in itself can be enjoyed, still in normal quantities, without fear of causing health problems. Eating fruits has actually shown the ability to reduce heart disease, rather than cause it. For some reason, fruit juice contains more sugar than one piece of fruit, substantially more sugar, which is the problem. In addition to this alteration, fruit juice is also missing much of the fiber that is found in the flesh of the fruit; even pulp in orange juice is giving far less of the natural nutrients than an actual orange does.

This research shouldn’t discount your love of fruit or fruit juice; it is more to urge people to drink less fruit juice, rather than to cut it out altogether. Just like there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a hamburger from time to time, everything in moderation is a good motto to follow to keep from overeating or overdrinking the ingredients that could lead to problems like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Limit your amount of juice intake, and you can still enjoy a cold glass of orange juice when your breakfast from time to time.

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