Fruit juice: Good or bad?

Fruit juice has been in the news a lot recently. It is being reported that fruit juice is just as bad as soda because it contains as much sugar as soda, and therefore it may increase your risk for diabetes. But is this really true? I often drink a lot of juice, mostly as a sports drink to recover from long runs(and sometimes before long runs), but it doesn’t seem to cause any problems for me. Since I run at least 30 miles a week, and often do resistance work, I need those calories.

Maybe if I was overweight, or diabetes or heart disease ran in my family I might cut back on juice or eliminate it altogether. And while its sugar content is similar to soda’s, 100% juice tends to also contain vitamins, phyto-nutrients, and some minerals, unlike soda. Still, I believe if you have weight problems, you are better off eliminating juice.

Here is an in depth look at this controversial issue: Fruit may lower diabetes risk while juice may raise it

I think the biggest flaw in the recent studies on juice is they didn’t distinguish freshly made juice from store bought juice, or 100% juice from “juice” that is mostly sugar with only a tincture of real juice in it. The best way to get the benefits of fruit is to simply eat it whole, you don’t have to drink juice. In particular, it appears that blueberries may help prevent diabetes(the above link gives the specifics).

5 responses to “Fruit juice: Good or bad?

  1. Bad, unless fresh from home or vendor.

  2. I educate my clients about the sugar in true juice. Not that bottled concentrate stuff. And even if you make your own fruit drinks at home, the nutritional value usually outweigh the sugar intake.

    • I agree, for the most part. Another issue is that not all fruit is the same, some are more sugary than others. Grapes for instance are more sugary than blueberries for example. Some are richer in phyto-nutrients than other as well. Thanks for your comments!

  3. You are right they should have clarified specifically what type of juice they are referring to. My thought process is if we are using a blender to juice things up including the peels (for those fruits that you can consume the peel) then it should be just as healthy as eating a fruit, unless ofcourse you add sugars and what not to it. Now on the other hand if we are using a professional juicer where we get rid of everything but the liquid then most likely to get a glass of juice we will have to juice more than how much we require per serving. Either way I think people consuming sodas and alcohol will benefit from drinking pure natural juice.

    • I agree with you about using a blender to make smoothies. It seems some of the articles about this were irresponsible in making fruit juice seem as bad as soda without distinguishing between smoothies and juices, juice concentrates, “juices” with sugar added, “juice” that has no actual juice in it, etc.

      I still believe that people with weight or cardiovascular problems would be better off avoiding most juice(since it is mostly sugar), except for smoothies which still have the fiber. I just had a lot of cherry juice before(from the store, and not a smoothie), based on what I’ve read and on my experiences it helps me recover faster from running. The studies also didn’t consider fermented kefir juices, like the ones I make. So many angles unexplored…

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