The short answer is no! Juice is perceived to be healthy because it comes from fruit and/or vegetables but really juice is just one big glass of sugar! This is a very “touchy” subject because people are almost religious when it comes to drinking juice especially OJ at breakfast. For some people, juice in the morning is a “staple” much like coffee is for most many others. I wonder if this has anything to do with being addicted to sugar? The main problem with juice is that is lacks fiber. Unless you have been living under a rock you know we need fiber to be healthy. Believe it or not fruits and vegetables provide way more fiber “per calorie” then just about any other type of food even whole grains. But juice has very little, if any fiber, basically zero. Fiber helps to regulates blood sugar, which means the sugar is absorbed at a much slower rate. When fiber is not present the sugar in juice instantaneously enters your blood stream thus spiking your blood sugar just like drinking a soda or eating a candy bar.
The other big problem with juice is that it is less much less nutritious than real fruits or vegetables. The juice is only a small part of the entire object. Also many juices are heated during processing to kill germs and make the juice more shelf stable. The heating process not only kills bacteria but it kills off a lot of the nutrients.
V8 V-fusion juice is a popular “healthy” juice because not only does it taste great but it claims to contain one serving of both fruits and vegetables. If you click on the link you will see lots of choices. For this article I picked the acai berry mix. Really it does not matter because juice is juice. The nutritional information provided is for an 8-ounce serving. What is the sugar content?
V8 V-fusion acai berry mix:
- Sugar = 24-grams (8 ounces)
- Fiber = 0-grams
Or how about everybody’s favorite juice, OJ (12-ounces):
- Sugar = 33-grams
- Fiber = 0-grams
A regular soda contains around 30-40 grams of sugar for a 12-ounce serving. Not much difference between a soda and juice is there?
I know these juices have some vitamins and nutrients but it does not contain anything that you could not get from the real fruit or vegetable. It is ALWAYS better just to eat real fruits and vegetables instead of just drinking their juices. Real fruit and vegetables provide fiber and are more nutritious then juice. Calorie for calorie real fruit contains more nutrition and much less sugar!