Summer is here, and so is August. Thirst grows and with it grows the high consumption of drinks such as fruit juice. Fruit juice are appreciated by all ages, especially children. Juice boxes are easily added to backpacks and bags, making them very easy to carry around with us.
For many years, fruit juice have been considered a great alternative to other types of drinks such as soda, because, after all, juices are derived from fruit. There is nothing better than adding liquids that are filled with fruit to our diet. However, a concern rose over the past few years that affects all age groups. Excessive use of fruit juice, in fact, increases the risk of obesity and harms dental health. But why? If eating fruit is good for our health, how is it possible that fruit juice, if consumed excessively, has the opposite effect?
Here are the kind of juice you should avoid.
As with any food, it is good to pay attention to the portions. The same goes for fruit juice. They are not bad per se, but the excessive consumption is what puts our health at risk. Why? Most juices contain a high amount of added sugars. If we then want to look deeper, we see that preservatives, sweeteners and flavors are also added to ensure the freshness of the product.
Have you ever found boxes of juice that show these words? Fruit beverage. The fruit juice labeled with these words consist of a minimal amount of real fruit, and a large amount of sugar and flavorings. Among these we find apple, orange, pineapple, grapefruit and tropical mix juice. The fruit juice boxes that show “100% fruit“, on the other hand, are those types that are made entirely by squeezing the fruit, without the addition of preservatives, sweeteners or flavors. Therefore, their nutritional properties are very similar to those of the raw material used.
However, it is good to keep in mind that the best thing to do is to read the nutrition labels usually placed behind the packaging. Fruit is known to contain a good amount of fiber (essential for gut health and functioning). The same cannot be said of its juice, which contains little or no amount of it. Furthermore, with the growing problem of sugar consumption, fruit juice brands have (according to them) removed those sugars that are not necessary for our health. In truth, the added sugar is there, but not simply labeled as “sugar”. Among these types we find fructose, which comes from the fruit itself, and grape juice. Grape juice is used to add flavor to the product.
Here are some tips for fruit juice lovers: what to do?
It is true that juice is full of sugar and sweeteners, but this does not mean that we must eliminate the boxes from our kitchens. The secret lies in the quantity of consumption, so the best suggestions are:
Drink them in limited quantities and without substituting them to real fruit.
Do not drink it as a substitute for water.
Do not add them to the consumption of other sugary drinks.
Finally, as the best choice on the consumption of juices, we can opt for homemade ones! Obviously without adding sugar. Alternatively we can squeeze a lemon, which adds a Mediterranean touch and is undoubtedly a healthy addition.