Why fruit juice is not healthy

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Fruit juice is often perceived as healthy. That is understandable, given that it is natural and has the word “fruit” in it. However, what many people fail to realize is that fruit juice is also loaded with sugar. In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink. Take a look at the breakdown for a 12 ounce (350 ml) portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:

Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).
Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons).

The small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants in the juice do not make up for the large amount of sugar. When we eat whole fruit, it takes significant effort to chew and swallow them. Fruit is also very fulfilling and so it is hard hard to eat a lot of it. The sugar in them is also bound within fibrous structures that break down slowly during digestion. For these reasons, the sugar in whole fruit gets sent to the liver slowly and in small amounts. The liver can easily metabolize these small amounts without being overloaded.



But, if you drink a large glass of fruit juice, it is the equivalent of consuming large numbers of fruit in a very short amount of time, without all the fiber. The main problem with this is that fruit juice contains no fiber and is very high in sugar. The large amount of sugar gets absorbed and sent to the liver very quickly, just like when you drink a sugar-sweetened beverage. A large part of the sugar found in fruit juice is fructose. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in meaningful amounts. When the liver takes in more fructose than it can handle, some if it gets turned into fat. Some of the fat can lodge in the liver and contribute to fat buildup and insulin resistance.

Although small amounts of fruit juice is unlikely to cause major problems for healthy, lean and active people, this can be a complete disaster for people who are overweight or have diet-related metabolic problems or are working towards fat loss.

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