Is fruit juice OK for me to drink?

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Nutrition Blog

Fruit forms a fundamental part of a healthy nutritional plan. It’s recommended that a person eats two portions of fruit per day and three portions of vegetables. Some of the healthiest fruit that you can add to your diet include granadillas, raspberries, dates, persimmons, guava, blackberries and naartjies.

So, the assumption would be that fruit juice is just as healthy as fruit. Surely it’s the same thing – just all juiced? Well, yes and no. Here’s why.

Fruit juice pros and cons

Why fruit juice is bad for you

One of the major reasons why dietitians and nutritionists caution people, who are trying to lose weight, against drinking fruit juice (as opposed to eating fruit) is the added sugar that it contains. This is done in order to ensure that the fruit juice is palatable and to get you coming back for more.

Some fruit juices can have as much (or perhaps even more) sugar per serving as most brands of fizzy drinks. This means that opting for juice instead of soft drinks may not be as great an idea as you originally thought…

Sugar levels in fruit juice can cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of hyperglycaemia (blood sugar levels which are too high). The glycaemic index puts orange juice between 66 and 76 on a scale of 100. (This index is used to reflect the impact on blood sugar levels of individual foods.) As a result, fruit juice a high-GI drink. It’s a well-known fact that high GI foods and drinks are best avoided by people with diabetes under most circumstances.

However, one situation in which fruit juice can be useful is to raise blood sugar rapidly. This in response to hypoglycaemia (blood sugar levels which are too low).

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Why fruit juice isn’t so bad

100% fruit juices never contain “added” sugar. This is according to regulations which come out of Europe. Nevertheless, they have a sugar content which corresponds to that of the fruits from which they were derived (on average, about 24g per standard 200ml portion).

Fruit that is naturally high in sugar include:

  • Bananas,
  • Cherries,
  • Pomegranates,
  • Mangoes,
  • Grapes, and
  • Figs.

Above all, fruit juices contain fructose to some extent or another. This is because they are more or less equivalent (as regards portion) to the corresponding fruit (0.5 to 7g per 100g). Juices extracted from fruits that contain more sugar have more sugar than juices obtained from less sugary fruits.

So, what is the solution?

As a rule of thumb, always look at the label of the particular fruit juice. If you’re absolutely craving a bottle of fruit juice, choose the one which has the less  added sugar and additives. However, if you’re tossing up between choosing a piece of fruit or some fruit juice, always rather stick with the fruit. The key to good nutrition is moderation in everything!

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course is the best possible avenue for you to take in order to learn more about nutrition. For more information about this and our other online fitness courses, please visit our website.

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