Let’s squeeze the truth out of this juice myth.
With soda being damned for its high sugar content and ill-effects on health, juices started gaining more popularity. Well, you can’t blame people because terms like ‘100% fruit’, ‘natural’, ‘no preservatives’, ‘no added sugar’ etc were used to deceive them.
The fact is the fruit juices found on the shelves are also loaded with sugar. A small amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants do not compensate for the high sugar content and lack of fiber.
Did you know…..?
The juice after being extracted from the fruit is massively oxygenated and undergo loads of processing before they are packaged. If they claim not to add preservatives, this is thanks to tetra-packing. But then again this requires the juice to undergo pasteurization or an equivalent process to ensure it does not spoil.
As a matter of fact, a loss in flavor and colour due to processing is compensated by the addition of sugar, ‘permitted’ artificial flavours and colours.
Learn from the labels
Notice a few details:
- Including natural fruit sugars (not only natural fruit sugars, so there is added sugar – check the ingredients!)
- Presence of additives like – acidity regulator, stabilizer, colour and flavor
- Natural colour 160a (i) translated to While 160(a) is carotenes, the (i) beside it is assigned to ‘Carotenes, beta-, synthetic’
- Nature identical flavouring substances are still not natural
Fruits contain sugar, without a doubt. However, it also contains loads of fiber. This is beneficial in two ways – fiber fills your stomach so there is no question of overeating, and second is that the fiber ensures that the sugar is gradually used by the body.
On the other hand, juices lack fiber and it’s easy to consume large amounts of these ‘liquid sugars’. Long-term consumption of large amounts of sugar, artificial flavours and colours, and preservatives definitely takes a toll on the body and directly or indirectly lead to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart problems and the like. Don’t forget caries that accompany sugar!
If you’re thinking that the way out is to make juices at home, stop right there. Most of us still sieve the pulp out, add heaps of sugar and chug it down in the name of fresh fruit juice. We have been hardwired that juices are sweet so most of us cannot do without it.
Instead of juice, enjoy fruit whole. That way, you also get all the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found naturally in the fruit. Then again if some of us are willing to juice the fruit, retain the pulp and leave out the sugar then go ahead. Otherwise, juices can be savoured occasionally, and you definitely can’t add a health halo to it.