If you are counting calories, or are worried about carbohydrates from sugar, juice may pose quite a paradox for you. It’s full of vitamins, but laden with sugar. If fruit juice is the only possible way that you will consume those vitamins, then occasionally sip away. But your healthiest (and most figure friendly) option is to get the vitamins that you need from whole fruits and vegetables.
Sugar and Calories in Juice
The sugar and calories in juice are through the roof. Juice is usually chock full of vitamin C, and may also contain other valuable vitamins and minerals. However, the vitamins and minerals in juice may not be enough to warrant the sugar content, even if it’s 100% juice. If you do indulge in juices (in moderation) to chalk up your fruit servings, be sure that it truly is juice. Watch out for words like “cocktail” and “blend” — they indicate added sugars with other names, like high fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose or sucrose. Juice or juice concentrate should be the only words on the ingredient list of any juices that you may consume.
Would you eat a Snickers bar for breakfast every morning? At 28 grams of sugar a pop, if you are drinking a glass of orange juice with your corn flakes, you might as well! A glass of juice can have 30 grams or more of sugar. That’s equivalent to about 8 tsp of sugar. So, a glass of water, cup of black coffee, or hot tea with a piece of whole fruit definitely saves you some sugar and calories. Some juices like apple and grape juice have as much — or more sugar than a 12 oz soda!
Sugar in Fruit
A piece of fruit usually comes in at 100 calories per serving. For example, an orange accounts for about 85 calories. On the other hand, an 8 oz glass of orange juice has about 120 calories. The whole fruit brings more than just a saving in calories. The real deal gives you 4 grams of filling fiber, and only 17 grams of natural sugar.
Sugar and Your Body
Too much sugar in your body causes insulin levels to rise, which depresses your immune system. Sugar can cause triglyceride levels to increase, too. In other words, sugar causes your body to store fat. That, in turn, can cause high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Unfortunately, food companies aren’t leaving it off their ingredients lists. Sugar pops up in jars of spaghetti sauce, frozen meals, juice, canned fruit, yogurt, and cereals.
So, steer clear from the processed stuff. Juice included! Grab an apple for a juicy, sweet fruit option, or dilute the juice that you do drink. Be sure to include the calories in your daily calculation — it’s easy to drink too many calories when you are indulging in sugary drinks. Whatever you do, stay away from anything less than 100% juice!