A single serving of some bought, ‘healthy’ fruit juice has been found to contain the same amount of sugar as three doughnuts!!! Hard to believe? Some medium doughnuts contain 12 g of sugar each!
Until recently, it was thought the ‘bad’ drinks were those such as Coke and Pepsi, while orange juice was an easy way to get one of our ‘five a day’.
In his new book ‘Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar’, Dr Robert Lustig argues that it doesn’t matter whether the sugars you drink come from fruit juice, smoothies or fizzy drinks, and says that too much liquid fructose sugar is dangerous for our health, irrespective of the source. He says that these sugars are overloading our livers and leading to health issues such as heart problems, diabetes and obesity.
But why is orange juice, for example, so bad? The key issue is a lack of fibre. When we eat fruit, fibre forms a protective layer that acts as a barrier to the intestine. This slows absorption of sugar, so the liver has a chance to catch up. In fizzy drinks and other bought fruit juices, the barrier has gone, which leads to the liver being overloaded.
What’s the ideal drink?
Plain water is still the best way to fulfill your daily fluid needs, says the Nutrition Information Centre of the University of Stellenbosch (Nicus). When a US beverage panel recently weighed up the benefits and drawbacks of daily drinks, water came out tops.
According to Nicus, water is highly recommended for daily fluid intake. It provides no additional energy, making it ideal for overweight or inactive adults. It also provides variable amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and fluoride, depending on its source. However its also important that the water we drink is free from harmful chemicals and that is why a Stefani Ceramic Water Filter or an Alpha Aqua Double Under-counter Filter could be so beneficial to you and your family
A few other examples of sugary drinks (15 ml sugar = 1 tablespoon):
Coca Cola contains 11 g of sugar per 100 ml, i.e. 33 g per 300 ml
Red Bull contains 11 grams of sugar per 100 ml, i.e. 33 g per 300 ml (sucrose and glucose combined)
Oros contains 8 g of sugar per 100 ml i.e. 24 g per 300 ml
Manhattan Ice Tea contains 9 g of sugar per 100 ml i.e. 27 g per 300 ml (depends on flavour)
Red Grapetizer has 12 g of sugar per 100 ml i.e. 36 g of sugar per 300 ml can
Zing fruit juice 7.3 g per 100 ml i.e. 22 g per 300 ml
Ceres Jabba Apple (for kids) 7 per 100 i.e 21 per 300 ml
Vitamin water 13 g sugar in 240 ml bottle
This is just the tip of the iceberg to give you some idea of why bought drinks are not really very healthy at all.
Even though there is ‘no added sugar’ in some of the fruit juices, i.e. Liquifruit, there is still natural fructose in the juice. Fructose in large quantities without fibre, can also have a detrimental effect on your health.
You need to be aware of everything that you drink, especially bought juices (with or without added sugar). Always check the label, especially when buying it for your kids. Everyone would be much better off health-wise by either drinking water or by making a homemade smoothie in a blender such as the vitamix or a juicer that combines both fruit and vegetables so as to cut down on the amount of sucrose and/or fructose that is consumed.