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BendtheBar 08-19-2013 02:01 AM

Fruit Juice Worse Than Soda?


Juice exudes health and vitality. It is officially one of your 'five-a-day'. It's what they sell in juice bars, those yogafied temples of wheatgrass.

But fruit juice is also, according to the American obesity expert Robert Lustig, basically just sugar and is therefore, in his view, a 'poison'. Lustig is the author of Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth about Sugar (4th Estate, 13.99), published earlier this year. He sees sugar as the major culprit in the obesity crisis. Not so surprising, except for his shock revelation that the worst sugars may be those that appear the healthiest. 'Calorie for calorie, 100 per cent orange juice is worse for you' than sugary sodas, Lustig says.

This sounds alarmist, until you read some of the case studies from Lustig's childhood obesity clinic in San Francisco. One eight-year-old already has high blood pressure, thanks to a three-glasses-a-day juice habit. A six-year-old Latino boy comes to the clinic weighing 100lb, 'wider than he is tall'. His mother, a poor farm worker, has been letting him drink a gallon of juice a day because a government welfare programme gives them the juice for free.

Obviously, most of us drink nothing like a gallon of juice a day. But our juice portions are still out of whack. Over the past 30 years consumption of fructose the sugar in juice has more than doubled. Juice didn't used to be seen as something with which you quenched your thirst; it was more like a vitamin shot, a tiny dose of goodness. A book from the 1920s on feeding children by L Emmett Holt says that you should give toddlers just one to four tablespoons (15-60ml) of fresh orange or peach juice. Compare this with today's 200ml children's juice boxes, which contain about 17g sugar, the equivalent of more than four teaspoons.

The biggest problem with juice, as far as Lustig is concerned, is the lack of fibre. When you eat a whole apple, the sugar is 'nicely balanced' by the fibre, giving 'the liver a chance to fully metabolise what's coming in'. When you down half a pint of apple juice it 'brings a huge dose of energy straight to the liver'. Smoothies are not much better, no matter how pretty the packaging, because when fruit is blended the insoluble fibre is 'torn to smithereens'.

5kgLifter 08-19-2013 02:30 PM

Were any of these "studies" (or whatever they are, haven't read the entire thing) backed by a corporate company at all, i.e. coca cola? :D

It is sad though to see adverts on tv, by dentists, which when listened to make people out to be doing something heinous just because they're following all the recommended dietary guidelines and eating fruit, drinking fruit juice and such.

It's almost comical in fact, well I sit and laugh because it's really a no-win scenario, if you consider that both ways you lose.

gregger 08-19-2013 03:17 PM

On the rare occasion my sugars drop, a small OJ will pick it right up... Other than that, for me anyways, no juice (and fruit in general) in my house...
We use 'MIO" mostly, the grand-kids call it "juice"

Soldier 08-19-2013 03:33 PM

I used to drink quite a bit of orange juice when I was fat. In fact, one of my favorite fat kid drinks was half orange soda/half orange juice.

God, to think about what I put in my body. How am I even alive?

I think we're victims of semantics. For all these years people have talked about getting lots of "fruits and veggies". Truth is, veggies are WAY better for you and should be consumed in much higher quantities than fruits.

bruteforce 08-19-2013 03:46 PM

The password is juice.

IainK 12-11-2013 06:26 AM

Apart from 'dont drink a gallon of cheap fruit juice concentrate' dont think there is much else of note in the article :)

moeheep 12-11-2013 09:32 AM

After losing all that weight I lost, I NEVER drink:
1. carbonated drinks
2. Fruit Juice
3. alchoholic drinks

And guess what, After 18 months, I have beaten the odds and kept the 100 plus pounds that I lost from returning!

I eat MORE now than when I was fat...the biggest change .......I avoid all the sugar I can......and I lift the IRON!

Kleurplaay 12-11-2013 09:46 AM

I wouldnt necessarily say they are worse but the idea that orange juice for example is much healthier than soda is just not true, people think this is the case because it's 'made of fruit' and fruit is healthy!

Fact is both soda and most fruit juices contain around 40kcal/100ml, it's basically sugar water.

Also I seem to recall that Lustig is one of the big 'a calorie is not a calorie' guys. This topic really pisses me off a little to be honest. The whole 'a calorie is a calorie' is only in regards to energy balance and weight gain/loss. Never has this slogan been meant to say that you should just eat 30 poptarts a day and hit your calories, it blows my mind that people actually have to be told that there are such things a vitamins,fibre,minerals. The average adults knows worryingly little about nutrition nowadays.

LindenGarcia18 12-11-2013 09:50 AM

This is ridiculous.

He's seriously comparing these two drinks in terms of calories and sugar?

Stop comparing how much sugar, and how calorie for calorie they are equal, and start comparing the ingredients.

Forget the sugar, and lets look at the main incredient in soda, Fructose.

Fructose is actually Americas NO.1 source of calories.

Dr. Mercola from the Univercity of Calafornia did a study in 2009 (Its on Youtube if your interested)
Here a few of the things he came up with.

Fructose is a major contributor to:
. Insulin resistance
. Elevated blood pressure
. Major depletion of vitamins and minerals.
. Cancer (Cancer feeds of Fructose.)
. Cardio vascular disease, liver disease, and even Gout.

The MAIN thing he came up with though, is that Fructose is one of the number one causes of Obesity in the US.

Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California also did a study on the basics of Fructose metabolism.

An extract:


After eating fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is "burned up" immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Consuming fructose is essentially consuming fat!
The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and causes gout.
Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain's communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

Fructose has been deemed one of the, if the worst things you can consume.

So when these people come with "Hey fruit juice is just as bad as soda". Its blatant Bull shit it my eyes.

Its not just about comparing them calorie for calorie, sugar for sugar. Thats a terrible way to compare.

I agree with Babs. "Study bought to you by the Pepsi and Coca Cola Foundation in association with the Juice Bad Yucky Foundation."

- Linden

BendtheBar 12-11-2013 10:05 AM

Fruit juice is like the fruit with all the good nutrition of the pulp and skin removed. While I have no interest in trying to deem which is worse, I do believe it has more sugar per 12 ounces than most sodas.

12 ounces of Tropicana Pure Premium, No Pulp Orange Juice has 165 calories and 38.9 grams of carbs along with zero fiber.

12 ounces of Classic Coke has 39.9 grams of carbs.

I'll pass on both.

Fruit has all the good nutrition and far lower sugar density. Fruit juice has about as much sugar as a soda. Personally I don't see either as a good option.

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