You are trying to get healthy. So you dump the soda and switch to healthy fruit juices for you and your family.
Cutting down on sugar is one of the best things you can for better health. And now you think you’ve cut massive amounts of sugar from your diet.
A new British study examined the sugar content of 203 fruit drinks. These are 100% natural juices and smoothies marketed primarily to children. They are often advertised as “healthy” choices.1
Researchers found that nearly half the commercial juices were packed with sugar. Just one 7-ounce serving was found to contain at least 5 teaspoons of sugar.
How does this compare to soda? Cola has just under 10 teaspoons of sugar in a standard 12-ounce can.2 This means most commercial juices have about same amount of sugar as soda. So by switching to juice, you gain nothing.
The World Health Organization recommends that kids get no more than 5 teaspoons of sugar a day. But these fruit juices have that much sugar in a single small drink. The WHO recommends adults get no more than 6 teaspoons a day.3
Don’t Fall for Juice Label Deception
What most people don’t know is that commercial fruit juice makers often add sugar to make them taste sweeter. Added sugars include glucose, fructose, sucrose, and table sugar.
These sugars do occur in nature, so it allows drink manufacturers to use the words “all-natural” on the label. But this is incredibly misleading since “natural” juice does not have added sugar. Naturally occurring sugars may also be added in the form of honey, syrups, and juice concentrates.
Dr. Simon Capewell is a professor at the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool. He led the study, which was published in the journal BMJ Open.
“Unfortunately, our research shows that parents have been misled,” he said.
Parents are trying to make the right choices but “the sugar content of the fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies tested, is unacceptably high. And smoothies are among the worst offenders.”
The solution? Researchers recommend:
- Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. That way you get the benefits of fiber. Fiber has been shown to fight weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and digestive problems.4
- Make your own. Buying your own juicer can be an excellent investment in your health. That way you know exactly what’s in the juice you and your family drinks.
- Beware of sugar code words. Stay away from juices labeled “drink,” “cocktail,” “ade,” or “beverage.” These are all code words for added sugar.
- Look for these words on the label: “No sugar added” and “100% juice.”
Dr. Andrew Weil’s Antioxidant Smoothie Recipe
Dr. Andrew Weil is one of the nation’s most renowned integrative physicians. Here’s his recipe for a low-sugar, great-tasting, inflammation-fighting smoothie:5
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup chopped frozen mango
- 1 tablespoon unpeeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon unpeeled fresh turmeric
- 1 cup ice cubes
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Editor’s Note: Here’s another way to improve your health naturally. These five spices are a great way to rev up your metabolism to shed extra weight. Discover all the details HERE.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch