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TheDailyMeal: 8 ‘Healthy Drinks’ That Are Actually Terrible for You

Fruit Juices

Let’s think about the pros of fruit juices: Yes, they have vitamins you may not normally get elsewhere. Yes, they have antioxidants and polyphenols (i.e. grape juice). Yes, they have living enzymes (if they’re fresh-squeezed).

But what do they also have? More fructose than you’ll ever need. In fact, studies in 2009 and 2010 declared that fruit juice was about as healthy as a can of Coke. Say what now? "It's pretty much the same as sugar water," said Dr. Charles Billington, an appetite researcher at the University of Minnesota to the Los Angeles Times in 2009. He went onto say that the modern diet shouldn’t include fruit juices — there’s no need. Although fruit juice contains naturally occurring fructose, it’s the added sucrose from juice concentrates that can pack on the sugar that’s so destructive. Take a glass of apple juice, says Natural News: a typical glass of commercial apple juice will have as much fructose as you would find in six apples — but lacks the necessary fiber and enzymes the liver needs to process all that fructose. Said one researcher to the LA Times, the body has time to process the fructose from a piece of fruit, but fruit in liquid form overwhelms the liver.

The biggest health difference between fresh-squeezed and packaged, however, is in the processing. Fresh-squeezed juices still have some pulp that contains the most nutrients. However, from fruit to juice, the pasteurization process can kill the necessary nutrients you need from fruit. We say, if you want the vitamins and minerals, bite the fruit with your teeth — don’t sip it through a straw.

(Credit: Thinkstock/ iStockphoto)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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