If you had to guess how would you answer the question, is fruit juice healthy? It’s tricky right? On the one hand it’s a fruit, just a plant with the insides squeezed into a glass. On the other hand, you’ve seen something about high sugar content so maybe it’s not so good.
Fruit Juice Comparison
Fruit juices are not so good, especially when you compare their nutritional content to the original fruit. The glycemic index (GI) is one way of measuring sugar in foods, the higher the GI number, the quicker the rise of blood sugar in your body. For diabetics, picking low glycemic foods can be a matter of life or death. A quick example:
- Table sugar: 68
- Oranges: 40
- Orange juice, unsweetened: 50
- Gatorade: 78
Yes, just choosing orange juice over an orange bumps the GI by 10 points, a significant change. Can you believe Gatorade at 78? Holy cow!
Fruit juice vs. water
Without question, fruit juice is the loser against water. There are many facts about water; our bodies are 60 percent water and our brains are 70 percent water. We need to stay hydrated, and the truth is most of us are below ideal hydration levels. So choose water over fruit juice and if flavoring is an issue, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime will add flavor without changing the sugar content. Both have a GI of only three.
Fruit juice vs. soda
When in doubt, Mother Nature trumps a food manufacturer on nutrition every time.
Soda is a vat of chemical-laden ingredients that don’t occur in nature. Fruit juice has lower GIs and more nutritional value than a can of pop. While not as good as straight from the vine or tree, fruit juice is still better than soda.
Fruit juice vs. juicing
Juicing wins for three reasons;
- Most people use healthy ingredients at home vs. what you’d find in food plant
- The roughage of the plant stays with the juice (especially with a blender over an extractor) and
- They will choose produce with lower GIs. For instance, celery has a GI of 0, and cucumbers have a GI of 15.
That said if you’re just dumping pineapple and strawberries into a blender and slurping away it’s probably break-even. Choose your juicing combos wisely.
What do you think about fruit juice as a healthy living option? Do you drink fruit juice regularly? Or do you just stick with water? We’d love to hear your opinions.