According to statistics, at least half of the population over the age of 2 in the United States consumes sugary drinks daily. This doesn’t not include sugary drinks such as flavored milk, sweetened teas, or 100% fruit juices. If those were considered, the statistic would likely surge dramatically.
People are mistaken when they think they are drinking fruit juice that it’s healthy though it’s sweet. However, it actually is contributing to fatty liver disease, weight gain and obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes in the United States and other countries around the globe. You actually aren’t doing your body a bit of good by trading soda for fruit juice and sometimes those fruit drinks are actually worse than soda for your health.
Fruit Juice is NOT a Healthy Beverage
Fruit juice seems to be marketed incorrectly because most of it is actually flavored sugar water and usually contains very little or no juice whatsoever. It is not a healthy choice for anyone. Sometimes drinks are labeled as ‘fruit beverage,’ ‘fruit cocktail,’ or ‘fruit drink’ because it doesn’t contain 100% juice. Most fruit juice drinks actually contain about 10% fruit juice.
Another marketing gimmick is that fruit drink packages often show graphics of real fruit when the truth is that there is less than 5% of real fruit juice in it. Instead, the ingredients are high-fructose corn syrup, sugar such as cane sugar, and water. Some examples of these products include brands such as Kool-Aid Jammers, Capri Sun, and Hawaiian Punch. Capri Sun even markets a beverage called Capri Sun Sunrise as a breakfast drink and parents actually believe this.
Parents often think that sugary sodas are a bad option for their children and are instead, under the delusion that fruit juices are healthier. In actuality, when compared by the ounce, fruit drinks compared to soda are just as high in calories and sugar additives.
However, 100% fruit juice drinks are healthy and may be a great source of vitamins and other nutrients. But people need to be aware of the differences between fruit juice, fruit drinks, or other sugary beverages. Things can be easily misleading.
An example is an eight ounce glass of orange juice. It has eight teaspoons of sugar and more than half of that sugar is comprised of fructose. Soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Not much difference. Fruit drinks usually contain more high-fructose corn syrup than most sodas. Beverage companies like Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are generally the parent company to several of the sugary drinks on the market including fruit juices.
Fruit Juice or Soda, the Health Damage from Fructose is the Same
Regardless of whether you consume soda or fruit juice, fructose still causes the same health damages. That same eight-ounce glass of orange juice has 25 grams of fructose which is way more than what a person should have on their daily average. Numerous people of all ages drink a lot more sugary fruit drinks in one day than that and the product’s companies are cashing in.
Fructose has been identified as a reason for the monstrous increase in obesity and other related health problems. Other problems are that such large volumes of high-fructose corn syrup is added to numerous sweetened beverages and processed foods. Fructose that is naturally occurring in a large amount of fruit juice is also problematic.
A century ago, the average American consumed about 15 grams of fructose on a daily basis. It was primarily consumed through whole fruit. Now, at least 25% of Americans consume at least 135 grams or more of fructose per day from sweetened drinks and sodas. Unless you suffer from high uric acid levels, 15 grams of fructose is pretty harmless. However, at today’s rate of consumption of fructose, it is the contributing factor to almost all chronic degenerative diseases and obesity.
The American Beverage Association and other similar groups try to convince consumer that fructose in high-fructose corn syrup is not as harmful for you as sugar is. However, that’s not true even though the ABA even claims that high fructose corn syrup and obesity are not linked. However, scientific studies by the numbers can prove otherwise.
One study has shown that when a person consumes one serving of a sugary drink, both the risk of obesity and an increase in body mass index increased. Another study tested schools in England which had soda machines. When the vending machines were in the school, obesity increased but when they were removed, obesity stayed at a constant. Fruit drinks would have a similar effect since they contain just as much sugar. In another study, participants were given a controlled high fructose diet. After 10 weeks, they had new fat cells around the digestive organs, liver, and hearts. There was also increases of food-processing problems that were linked to heart disease and diabetes. When a different group were given glucose instead, they didn’t have these issues.
Fructose Beats Up Your Liver Just Like Alcohol
Surprisingly, fructose is just as damaging to the liver as alcohol. More children are suffering liver disease not related to alcohol because of fat build up in liver cells. All of the metabolic stress relies on the liver after consuming fructose because only it can break it down further. Alternatively, consuming glucose only requires the liver to break down 20% while the other 80% is metabolized and used by cells.
Fats from fructose are stored in the liver and also as body fat. It is metabolized to body fat much faster than other sugars. For example, if you consume 120 calories of fructose, 40 calories are stored as fat. However, if you eat 120 calories of glucose, 6 calories are stored as fat.
Fruit Juice Increases Your Uric Acid Levels, Just Like Soda Does
Just like soda, fruit juice increases levels of uric acid which creates numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes that is linked to the consumption of fructose. According to the latest research, fructose is the only sugar that does that which may be why there is a spike in heart disease. When metabolized, fructose takes a different path than those used by other sugars which cause it to be generated as uric acid within just minutes of consumption.
Uric acid can be very harmful when it reaches a level of 5.5 mg per dl or more in the body which increases the risk for hypertension, obesity, kidney disease, and diabetes. The ideal range is believed to be between 3 to 5.5 mg per dl so it’s important to have that tested.
Another possible health issue related to drinking sugary drinks such as fruit juice is that it can increase the possibility of gout. In research involving women who drank 12 ounces or more of orange juice daily actually doubled the risk of getting gout. Women who drank half that amount daily increased the risk by 41 percent. For men, if they drink two or more soft drinks which are sugary, they had an 85% increased risk of gout than those men who drank less than one drink a month. Fructose rich fruits such as apples and oranges increased the risk along with fruit juice.
Beware: Beverage Companies are Out for Your Kids
Note that beverage companies are targeting kids and are using marketing drinks to do so. It is unbelievable what lengths these companies will go to in order to promote their drinks and try to get kids and young adults hooked. Now that you are aware of this, you can eliminate high fructose drinks from your diet and definitely choose water as your beverage of choice. Try to not consume any more than 25 grams per day of fructose including 15 grams a day at most from fresh fruit (not juice). If you have heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or re overweight, it’s better to cut fructose (including fruit) down to 10-15 grams a day.
Of course it can be difficult to eliminate sugar and fructose from the diet. Sugar has been noted to be as addictive a caffeine. However, there are ways to follow a healthier diet but still get a sweet fix.
Thanks to: Living Traditionally