You might think it’s wholesome because there’s fruit in the name, a picture of the sun and dancing fruits on the front of the container, but you have to watch out for the dangers of fruit drinks, checking the label to identify just how healthy they really are. Not all fruit drinks are the same, but one thing is certain, they aren’t fruit juice or that would be in the name. Even worse, fruit juice isn’t a top choice as a health drink.
What’s wrong with fruit juice?
First, fruit juice isn’t fruit. Fruit contains many things its juice doesn’t contain the most important thing is fiber. If you drank 100 calories worth of orange juice and ate 100 calories of the fiber containing fruit, you’d get more nutrients per calorie from the whole fruit! For juice that isn’t freshly squeezed, but purchased at the store, the way its processed makes all the difference. Left in a large vat for storage, fruit juice loses its flavor and gets “flavor packets” before it’s marketed to enhance the taste that also left in storage. Since there is no fiber to fill you up, you can consume far more calories than you would eating the fruit.
Fruit drinks are even worse!
In order to be classed as a fruit drink, the drink has to contain at least some fruit juice. That can be as little as one percent or less! The rest is colored water, sugar and some type of flavoring. Is it starting to sound like Kool-Aid in expensive packaging? It should. Most fruit drinks contain 10 percent fruit juice with the rest sugary syrup and water—plus artificial coloring and additives for longer shelf life.
You’ll destroy a healthy eating program by drinking fruit drinks, particularly if weight loss is the goal.
If you’re counting calories or trying to keep your sugar intake low, don’t even consider fruit drinks in your diet. Most of them have more calories than regular soft drinks, like cola. Some are as high as 150 calories per 8-oz serving, that’s one and a half times the calories for the same amount of Coca-Cola. Some contain far more sugar than a Coke and even more than a Krispy Kreme donut!!!
- Giving these high sugar drinks to children can increase the risk of obesity. One study showed that just one fruit drink a day increased the chances of obesity by 60 per cent.
- Not only will you miss out on all the nutrition and fiber from eating the fruit, rather than drinking the juice or having a fruit juice drink, studies also show that fruit drinks can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Read the label carefully before you buy. Even though it may say contains real fruit, if water, followed y sugar are high on the ingredient list, it’s just glorified sugar water that’s bad for you and your children.
- Avoid the dilemma of finding a healthy drink by drinking water and offering it to kids. There’s a lot of reasons to get children in the habit of drinking water and no reasons to encourage sugary drinks—of any kind.