Juice…Not so juicy
Freshly squeezed or not, a glass of fruit juice is not as healthy as we’ve been led to believe. Not all juice is created equally. Avoidance of the nasty ‘fruit juice drinks’ consisting of 20-50% fruit juice, sugar, water, colours and preservatives, is easy. 100% fruit juice that is made from reconstituted fruit juice is another form of juice to avoid altogether. Reconstituted fruit juices, do not offer the high nutritional qualities of their freshly squeezed counterparts. Enzymes required for adequate food metabolism and the immune system are destroyed through the process of heating and reconstitution. Vitamin C levels are also depleted and are then often artificially added back in.
So what about 100% juice that is NOT reconstituted?
Fruit juice is a concentrated form of natural sugar, even when freshly squeezed or labelled 100% juice. Our bodies are not equipped to deal with the amount of sugar that even a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice provides. Consuming fruit in its whole form allows our bodies to gain a feeling of fullness and slows the absorption of the natural sugars (fructose) in fruit . When consumed as fruit juice (without the fiber), the sugars are more quickly absorbed and we don’t get the same feeling of fullness.
A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can contain 10 teaspoons of sugar. Vitamins or not, this is far too much fructose for our bodies to be able to handle at once. This rush of sugars causes significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Juice is also commonly labelled by dentists as an ‘unfriendly’ choice of drink for children as it contributes to teeth decay.
In addition, 100% fruit juices may not be all that it they are cracked up to be. Have you ever wondered why most juices, even if 100% often taste the same?
Juices need to be kept for long periods, in gas tanks where they go through ‘de-aeration’ (stripping of their oxygen) to prevent oxidation. Doing this causes a loss of flavour. Flavour packs are then added to give the juice it’s taste. These flavour packs (containing a host of chemicals) are derived from ‘natural sources’ so are often kept off the labels.
If your 100% juice has a long use by date, you can be guaranteed that it has been highly pasteurised thus killing any vitamins and minerals that you were hoping to receive.
This can also happen if juicing at home with a high speed juicer. The heat created in the juicer destroys natural enzymes in the fruit.
Packaged fruit juice in any form is not ‘fresh’, has been highly processed and is lacking the added benefit of vitamins & minerals. We believe juice should only be consumed on special occasions, as a treat. On those special occasions we ensure the juice is freshly squeezed using a machine that allows the fibre to be retained (eg. An old fashioned orange hand juicer or blender where the whole fruit is blended.)