The Health Effects of Fruit Juices

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A lot of us depend on fruit juice. We believe it’s better than taking in sugary drinks, but is that really the case? Fruit juice is a liquid (drink) that is naturally contained in fruit and vegetables. It is a beverage made of fruits. Some are also flavored with fruits and other biological food sources. Most people consume it as a beverage. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated the total world production of citrus fruit juices to be 12,840,318 tonnes in 2012.

The juice is often prepared by mechanically squeezing fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents. The juice may be prepared in the home from fresh fruit and vegetables using hand or electric juicers. Examples of fruit juices are Prune juice, orange juice, tomato juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and so many others.

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Fruit juices and whole fruits; health benefits

When people advise eating fruit, they are talking about fresh, whole, fruit, or fresh-frozen, whole fruit. That’s the only kind of fruit we should be consuming. That’s because the negative impact of the fructose in fruit is offset by the wonderful fiber in fresh fruit. Fiber is the “meaty” part of the fruit…the pulp, which is so good for us. Fiber slows down the digestion of the ultra-sweet fructose. Fiber is absolutely necessary when consuming fructose and that fabulous combination is found only in fresh fruit. Also, fresh fruit contains all kinds of wonderful vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and minerals.

However, fruit juices and fruit concentrate have fructose, without any of the added benefits of fresh fruit such as the fiber and nutrients. Fruit juice and fruit juice concentrate has been stripped of the fiber and nutrients. So, for example, you could eat one apple and get a fair amount of fructose that is balanced by fiber and nutrients. That’s not so bad. On the other hand, you could drink apple juice, which has virtually no fiber and nutrients, but the fructose of several apples. The same thing goes for fruit juice concentrate. It contains the fructose of many apples and none of the benefits.

The bottom line is, if you are eating any fruit product other than fresh, whole fruit, you are getting tons of fructose and very little of any fiber and nutrients. So, fruit juices should be consumed in little amounts, same as for carbonated drinks.

Effects of high level of fructose in the body

  • Fructose can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin is a critical hormone that, when working improperly or not at all can cause chaos throughout your entire system. Insulin is necessary to lower the impact of sugar in our blood
  • It can also lead to advanced aging.
  • Fructose increases uric acid production, which, in excess, can cause gout, kidney stones and precipitate or aggravate hypertension.
  • Fructose rapidly causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite and metabolism to maintain a normal weight. Leptin resistant people tend to gain fat and become obese really easily.
  • Excess fructose alone can cause all the problems associated with the metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity, heart disease).
  • Excess fructose also affects brain functioning, especially as it relates to appetite regulation. It has also been shown to impair memory in rats.

So, if you drink a lot of fruit juice in a day, you are taking in a lot of sugar, which is not good for your health. It’s better to eat the fruit. Have a great week.

References                                       

  • CBN
  • Wikipedia

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