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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