Why Fruit Juice Sucks

Filed under: Nutrition

Yeah, the title pretty much says it all. I know some of you will be up in arms, saying that your glass of OJ in the morning is the least of your worries, and you are probably right. There are worse food choices than fruit juice, but it is not nearly as good for you as many believe.

Today at CP I had a nutrition consultation with a client. He is a highly rated college soccer player, and actually had a decent diet. His biggest downfall was his 2-6 glasses of juice per day. That is a ton of extra sugar to consume everyday, with in reality very little to offer in terms of actual nutrients. His goal was to try and drop some weight for next semester, so what do you think was one of the first things to go? Needless to say, too many people have this idea that fruit juice is an incredibly healthy choice, when in reality, it is quite mediocre. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

For even more evidence here is a 2008 study by Bazzano et al. The study was a huge (over 71,000 nurses) long term (18 years) look at the impact of fruit, vegetable and/or juice consumption on the development of type-2 diabetes. A daily increase of fruit and vegetable consumption of 3 servings per day had no impact on diabetes development, and an increase of 1 serving of leafy green vegetables actually slightly decreased risk. The real shocker was that an increase in just 1 serving of fruit juice daily was correlated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Now this was a correlational study, it was not a cause and effect study, so it doesn’t prove that consuming juice will lead to diabetes, it merely suggests that it might.

Now there is also some evidence that certain fruit juices may have some benefit. Aviram et al performed a 3-year study on pomegranate juice consumption (the actual product used was POM Wonderful). This study, along with others by Avirum, have shown that pomegranate juice consumption as low as 2oz per day can decrease blood pressure, LDL oxidation and carotid artery thickness. Other juices that may have some benefit are red wine, concord grape, and maybe some blueberry juice.

In conclusion, decrease consumption of juice, eat more real fruits and vegetables, and maybe imbibe in a few ounces of pomegranate juice or a glass of red wine a few times per week. Your body, heart and waist will thank you.

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Posted on December 17th, 2008 by Brian St. Pierre

26 Comments

  1. praev Says:

    I think you have to make a distinction between 100% orange juice from the other concentrated versions and I wonder if the studies also take that into effect.

    I agree the sugar water, so called orange juices are pretty bad. But 100% fresh squeezed is also bad? Sure some of it’s pasteurized but still. That’s like saying you shouldn’t juice vegetables or fruits, cause its juice.

  2. Blog of the Day- December 17, 2008 | The Fitness Times Says:

    [...] Why Fruit Juice Sucks [...]

  3. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Praev,

    Maybe. I do not think that juicing your own fruits and veggies is a bad thing, and it is significantly healthier than prepackages “juices”. Still, I prefer to see people eat the whole fruit and veggie. It was a correlational study, but interesting nonetheless.

  4. Jesse Says:

    If you don’t remove any pulp, then you really just have a liquefied version of the whole fruit (best case scenario). But you’re still going to digest it faster since it’s already very well broken down, and your body will absorb faster ( blood-sugar spike and insulin rush), which may be where the linkage to diabetes comes in.
    That said, I almost always add frozen fruit to my shakes, that’s the closest I get to drinking ‘juice’.

  5. Chad Says:

    I have been drinking the odwella super food juice for my carb intake. Is this juice bad as well??

  6. Festivus for the rest of us « No Magic Pill Says:

    [...] cold-weather snack suggestion (I am SO there), uses for almond meal, more on why fruit juice sucks, love/hate for broccoli, two new sweeteners approved, a couple flavor boosters, diabetic diet [...]

  7. derinside Says:

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

  8. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Chad,

    Sorry for the late response. I would say it’s not bad to get some of your carbs from that product, but I wouldn’t get the majority. The first ingredient is apple juice. Commercial apple juice is garbage. Now it does have some good and interesting stuff, so I wouldn’t just dismiss it, but I also would not make it my main carb source.

  9. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    derinside,

    I have no idea what you are talking about. Sukrat? I need a little more help on this one.

  10. nuhKeridentee Says:

    I am unable to understand this post. But well some points are useful for me.

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  12. A Rare Gem : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] back I wrote a blog about why I feel that fruit juice as a whole sucks, which you can check out here. I still do believe that fruit juice is garbage for the most part, but there is an exception. One [...]

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  16. The Orange Juice Deception : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] while back I wrote a blog about Why Fruit Juice Sucks, and today we are back with even more evidence to prove the truth of that statement. Orange juice [...]

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  18. Lisa Rymer Says:

    Here’s one of the best arguments about orange juice consumption that I’ve read on the internet in awhile. The article by Foras Aje was posted on this blog:

    http://healthnewsz.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-cure-acne-naturally.html

    “…any disease-regardless of its medical diagnosis-is a product of constipation, a clogging up of the body tissues. Consequently, as the body fights to unclog its organs, the process becomes manifested in several ways. Disease is an attempt of the body to rid itself of these toxins and since, according to Dr. Stanley Burroughs, the skin is the next most important eliminating organ (second only to the lungs), acne is merely an indication that you need to cleanse yourself internally and take simple measures to alleviate the outer symptoms as the cleanse proceeds. Just how does one do an internal cleanse? Well, as I have mentioned in quite a few of my articles, the best way to do an internal cleanse (and the fastest I must say) will be to undergo a juice or water fast. Being a radical discipline, it must be undertaken with care but it is with confidence in a fast’s unmatched ability to restore health that you can be rest assured to see a drastic improvement in your skin condition at the end of about a 3 to 4 day fast. As a preliminary stage to a fast and as a suggested dietetic lifestyle, if you are serious about curing your acne and keeping it off, you must make a change in your diet and eliminate all mucus (acid) forming foods such as processed (junk) foods, fast foods, confectioneries, soft-drinks and eat more wholesome and natural foods like your fresh fruits and leafy vegetables, nuts, root vegetables, fresh juices-basically foods that are mucus (alkaline-forming) binding. You can type up ‘mucus forming and binding foods’ in any search engine like Google and educate yourself more on this subject. It is not by co-incidence or an error that Hippocrates ‘the father of medicine’ once stated that: “Let your foods be your medicine and your medicine your foods as nature is the healer of all diseases!” Although knowing what to eat is of uttermost importance, you must learn when and how to eat these right foods. I will make a statement here that may go against every thing you may have read or heard on nutrition but I know what I am saying from close to 6 years on trying this simple method on myself. The worst meal that we as humans partake of is ‘breakfast.’ How so the uninformed may ask; well based on scientifically proven research on thousands of people for over two centuries on such health principles as food combination and the realization that the human body goes through a cleansing process from twelve midnight until twelve noon, and a building program from twelve noon to twelve midnight, your meals during these respective periods should be harmonious with the natural processes. As a result here is a suggested daily menu plan Breakfast: A choice of the following 1. A tall glass of Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice. 2. A tall glass of Fresh squeezed lemonade flavored with genuine maple Syrup (the darker the grade the better) Lunch: A mono-meal of an organic fruit in season for example Apples in the fall and winter, Melons in the summer, Berries in spring. Dinner: Fresh, home-made salads. A simple dressing could be (a) Lemon juice, olive oil and un-iodized sea-salt (b) Avocadoes or Green coconuts blended with tomatoes and some sea salt Or Raw and/or cooked root vegetables such as Celery, Carrots, Potatoes, Plantains, raw or slightly heated fruit veggies (these can be blended into Soups or dressings for your salads) Some factors that must also be noted to ensure the maximum assimilation of nutrients from our meals include thoroughly masticating or chewing the mouthfuls of one’s meals for as the Indian proverb goes “chew your foods well as the stomach has no teeth.” In addition, I have also outlined the menu plan above keeping proper food combinations in mind. Moreover, refrain from the habit of drinking liquids with your meals, as I stated in the free resources section of my site on controlling asthma, drinking ANY liquids with your meals tends to dilute the digestive juices in your stomach which consequently deters digestion, assimilation and increases the tendency for constipation. If you must drink water after or before a meal, wait a solid hour or so before or after eating. As is known in the drugless healing world, this simple, yet extremely effective dietetic change has been known to alleviate most otherwise incurable human ailments including acne, asthma and obesity. One factor I must add (from my own personal experience with this device while undergoing a 10 day juice fast) is to AVOID THE USE OF MICROWAVES STARTING NOW.”

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  20. Juice is healthy right? « Fitness Overload Says:

    [...] Studies have also shown that drinking even just one glass of fruit juice a day can increase the risk of diabetes whereas eating fruit does not. [...]

  21. Tania Says:

    Did you catch the news today about arsenic in apple juice?
    My husband insists the children get some juice – but in our house it is a treat, not a serving of fruit.
    All the evidence I see over and over supports my position.

  22. Natalia Says:

    Is this also true of vegetable juices??

  23. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » Healthful Drinks with Actual Flavor! Says:

    [...] have also written about why fruit juice sucks, and how consuming only 8oz of it per day was associated with an increased risk for diabetes. [...]

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