It is quite common to hear, from health experts as well as those who mean well around us, that fruit juice is a much healthier option than fizzy drinks, and that where possible we should be making the choice to replace our fizzy drinks with said fruit juice. However, the surprising truth is that there is very little difference between fruit juice and fizzy drinks, especially when it comes to the amount of sugar contained within them.
Its all about the Fructose!
It has long been surmised that fruit juice is the healthier option because it contains ‘natural’ sugars rather than artificial sweeteners. However, the natural sugar contained within fruit juice is fructose, something which our bodies can only tolerate in small amounts. To put it into context, our bodies can absorb, at any one time, around 25g of fructose. A glass of pure orange juice contains 14g of fructose, a can of coke would have around 15g of fructose. Not much of a difference!
We Are Simply Not Designed To Have Too Much Fructose
An overload of fructose can cause health problems such as bloating, cramps, indigestion and sometimes even diarrhoea. Our bodies were simply not designed to take in that much fructose. The thing which catches people out is that fruit juice is made from fruit, and we all know that fruit is good for us. Don’t we? Unfortunately this is another area where we may believe we are putting good foods into our body but actually too much can cause us digestive troubles. If you need further evidence, consider that fruit found in the wild is not sweet in taste; have you ever picked a wild apple? It will taste nothing like the apples to be found in your fruit bowl. This is because the fruit of today has been designed and created; it’s the reason why we can obtain so many varieties of fruit which are not native to our home countries.
However Fruit Juice Isn’t All That Bad
Of course, drinking fruit juice does have other health benefits which are not contained within a can of coke. For example, prune juice can help to alleviate symptoms of constipation, and many juices contain additional vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C. Drinking fruit juice in moderation is probably not a bad thing at all, just as eating a certain amount of fruit can also be good for us. What we really need to watch is that we are not taking in an excess of fructose, simply for the other benefits fruit juice provides, especially when these extra nutrients and vitamins can easily be found in other sources such as vegetables and that we fully understand, and are aware, of what we are putting into our bodies. Just because something is advertised as being the ‘healthy’ option doesn’t mean that it is actually as good for us as we might believe.