Fruit juice, the sweet truth

Fruit juice: it has had its glory days, but is now under increasing attack from health experts and nutritionists. And not without reason! A lot of people don’t realise what is actually in them.

However, there are still companies out there that promote their fruit juice as healthy. Take for example Tropicana Orange Juice. The company faced a series of lawsuits because their packaging claimed that the juice is ‘100% pure’ and ‘natural’, while it actually contains chemical ‘flavour packets’, is stored for months before it is shipped and is altered by flavour experts.

And the worst thing?

So. Much. Sugar.

The journal Nutrition published a study comparing the fructose content per litre of several sodas and fruit juices. Look for example at Minute Maid 100% Apple Juice in the graph below, it contains by far the most sugar of almost all the other sodas and fruit juices. Would you still give this to your kids?

chartttttSource: Nutrition

The study found that fruit juice has an average fructose concentration of 45.5 grams, whereas soda has 50 grams. So, you could say that drinking a juice carton is still ‘healthier’ than a can of coke.

But is ‘healthy’ really the right word here?

At least fruit juice has some health benefits (vitamins, antioxidants, could reduce blood pressure, etc.), compared with Coca-Cola, for which the only benefit is ‘easing digestion’, but these benefits shrink in significance when you compare them to the grams of sugar that come with them.

We’ll finish with a piece of advice that nutritionists love:

Eat your fruit. Don’t drink it.

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Eva Manrique

Eva is a Dutch tourism student currently living in Spain. Her multicultural background contributed to her interest in travel, culture and languages.