When we ago healthy, we sometimes choose fruit juice. The question remains, is it healthy?! There are two main types of fruit juice: the boxed juice you buy at the grocery store or the homemade fruit juice. Despite health claims on boxed fruit juice that it is natural, or pure or has no-added sugar, the fact remains that it highly processed. During manufacturing, many additives, flavors, colors and sugar is added to increase shelf life and improve taste. On average a cup of fruit juice has 135 Calories, 35 grams of sugar which is almost 10 teaspoons of sugar!
What about homemade fruit juice? If you’ve ever made a cup of fresh orange juice at home, think about it, how many oranges do you use to make 1 cup of juice ? Approximately 4-6 oranges. Would you ever sit down and eat 6 oranges? Mmmm, probably not! But what is wrong with that, isn’t fruit healthy ?! The answer is : Yes & NO!
Yes fruit is healthy, it is full of vitamins and nutrients, but it all depends on portion/quantity. So the answer is : Fruit Juice; Nay !
A wholesome fruit has both sugar and fiber. The fiber slows down the digestion of sugar and the body can adjust. However, fruit juice is deprived of fiber and so the body is suddenly flooded by a massive amount of sugar by just drinking one cup of juice 🙁
Fructose is the sugar found in fruits. The body can not metabolize it, only the liver can metabolize fructose. So on the long run, too much fructose gets stored as fat either in the liver (known as fatty liver),or other parts of the body. And yes, you guessed it, lead to weight gain. Be aware, some people have the TOFI body type; Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside! So even if you are slim, but drink too much fruit juice, you may have “fatty liver”.
What about kids ?! Don’t they need energy and fluids to stay hydrated at school? Wouldn’t fruit juice be a good option for school lunches? The truth is NO 🙂
For hydration, pack a big bottle of water for your kids. Add fresh fruits or veggies like apple slices, oranges, tangerines. strawberries, water melon, grapes, cucumber, carrots, colored peppers, cherry tomatoes or celery 😀
In my household, I never buy fruit juice. If my kids go to a party or a birthday, they can have some fruit juice, it’s ok, it is not the end of the world! But this happens, once a month, not 3 times a day, everyday 😀 The 80/20 rule; eat 80% of the time healthy and have a little treat 20% of the time.
Where to start?
1) Eat 1-3 servings of fruit/day: whole fresh fruit as a snack is healthier than juice; you can mix it with nuts or nut butter/ peanut butter.
2) Drink infused- detox water: add slices of lemon, mint and ginger to make infused water and sip it throughout the day.
3) Try a green smoothie: 2 handfuls greens, a small portion of fruit like pineapple or berries,1 tbsp ground flax seed and a piece of fresh ginger, iced water, blend and enjoy 🙂