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The Hard Truth About Juice

By Rachel Carver

Who doesn't love a tall glass of fruit juice? It is quite common to have some orange juice with breakfast. Kids love juice pouches from the store they can open all by themselves.

Nutrition is changing, prioritizing calorie intake and sugar consumption. And doctors say fruit juices should be consumed in moderation.

Have you swopped soda for juice? Unfortunately, many fruit juices give you almost as many calories as the soda you quit drinking. Some research shows we metabolize the natural sugar in fruit juice the same way as the added sugar in soda. Added sugar increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and decreases longevity. The juice you drink also matters. One hundred percent juice gives you a variety of benefits, including essential vitamins.

The Truth About Juice

Fruit juices give you high amounts of concentrated sugar. For example, three apples give you one cup of juice. You will probably not eat three apples at once, but it is easy to quickly drink one cup of juice. Consuming too much sugar is linked to weight gain and diabetes.

Fiber is also removed from fruits and vegetables when juice is made. Fiber keeps us feeling full, promotes gut health, and aids digestion. Replacing fruits and vegetables with juice deprives us of that important fiber. Fiber also helps level blood sugar. Being fiber-deficient spikes your blood sugar and then drops it, causing us to reach for more sugar.

Drink fresh juice whenever possible. Many packaged juices give you added sugar in addition to the natural sugar from the fruit. Make juice at home with mostly vegetables to cut back on the sugar.

Healthy Alternatives

Many juices are sweet, but so are many whole fruits. Grab an apple instead of filling your cup with apple juice. Whole fruits are packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Enjoy a homemade smoothie for breakfast. Blending whole fruits such as berries gives you all of the fiber with good flavor.

Make sure you drink plenty of water. Our bodies let us know when we need more fluid, and we can sometimes mistake thirst for other cravings.

The Bottom Line

If you love juice, you do not need to eliminate it from your diet. But you should try to consume it in moderation. Prioritize whole fruits and vegetables as much as you can for good flavor and additional health benefits. People trying to lose weight should especially pay attention to how much juice they drink. Read labels and be particular about what you put into your body.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.

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