Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Drinking fruit juice is just as good as eating fruit

I recall when my daughter was playing soccer and the parents took turns bringing drinks for the kids. There were some moms who would go ballistic if someone dared offer their kid a soft drink, but would be perfectly happy for them to drink as much apple or grape juice as they wanted. Guess what, most fruit juices are just sweet, flavored water with no more nutritional value than a Coke (a bit of vitamin C is meaningless) and just as much sugar. In fact, drinking fruit juices has been linked in several studies to increased health risks and weight gain.

When you eat a piece of fruit, you get everything in the fruit – the sugar, yes, but also the fiber and other constituents that don’t make it into the juice. The fiber has the effect of slowing down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, a good thing. This also has more of an appetite-satisfying effect, making it less likely you’ll crave a snack soon.

This is not to say you should banish fruit juices from your life. But, don’t fool yourself that they are somehow better than other sugary drinks.

10 responses to “Drinking fruit juice is just as good as eating fruit

  1. Mia January 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Depends on the juice, you have to look for 100% juices, not nectars (at least that’s what they are called in my country). The 100% can’t contain any sugar and they don’t taste really sweet.

  2. kitchenmyths January 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Unfortunately, 100% juice is not really any better. Apple juice has 39g of sugar per 12 oz while Coke has 40g. Orange, cherry, and grape juice are similar or worse.

  3. Beth January 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I strongly disagree, 100% juice does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, or Artificial Coloring, or the many other chemicals found in soft drinks. So actually, yes, 100% juice is actually better for you thank a Coke. As for a sports game how about just bringing water for the kids so they can be hydrated and everyone is happy and leave the juice vs. cola up to the individual parents and kids.

    • kitchenmyths January 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Perhaps you should read my post about the myth that HFCS is unhealthy. In any case, not all sodas contain HFCS or artificial colors. I certainly agree about your water suggestion.

  4. wening February 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

    lets me guess, the words ‘fruit juice’ in here are similar to “instant fruit juice” that buy from market not “homemade juice”? how about juice that homemade but added sugar into it?
    thx 🙂

    • kitchenmyths February 6, 2012 at 10:14 am

      No, we’re talking about 100% pure fruit juice, whether store-bought or home-made.

      • wening February 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm

        so when i made melon juice from 100% melon (without adding sugar), is not equal with eating melon? and is just not even better than drinking cola?
        well than juice maker is just make fruit become less fiber and more sugar it self *thinking*

  5. Radoslav March 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

    That statement is ridiculous. Coke is thousand time worst than any pure made juice. Home made juice contain natural occuring suggars, which are easily used from the body in difference with the coke. There is a movie called Sugar:the bitter truth

    In the movie it is explained very well coke ingridience and how they reflect on your boddies.

  6. Radoslav March 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    did you watch the movie? I guess – No. I can give you a links to a different websites if you want if it seem to you as good idea to you. The movie is a lecture of a doctor/nutritionist who helps with children obesity and how they get fat exactly because of coke.

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