Can consuming fruit juice be harmful for health?

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Those who are weary of reading and knowing the harmful effects of fizzy and energy drinks often resort to fruit juice and smoothies as an alternative. Fresh fruit juice is known to be a good source of energy and contain vital nutrients. Ever since the pitch against soda and energy drinks have shot up, section of people from many age groups have switched to fruit juice consumption. Beverage giants PepsiCo and Coca Cola acquired Naked Juice and Odwalla respectively to cash in on this trend.

Along with juices, the juice recipe books and juicer equipments have also become a favorite with consumers, as sales data shows. However, nutrition scientists and dietitians think juicing is not the right way to consume fruits, from the health perspective. University of North Carolina’s department of nutrition’s professor Barry Popkin agrees with this view. He along with other health experts advises people to eat whole fruits rather than juicing them. Juicing removes the fibers in fruits, which aid in digestion process.

The studies of fruit juice consumption indicate risk of developing diabetes and rising waistline. Popkin added that freshly pressed costly, fruit juice types available in local juice bar are not better than what you find in grocery stores. While smoothies do contain the fiber, they still pack in a fair amount of calories.

University of Chicago Medical Center’s pediatric dietitian Lara Field thinks that sugar present in fruit juice actually outshines the health benefits by a large margin. She went on to say eating excess fruit juice is similar to chewing many candies in the long run. A clinical research dietitian Bethany Doerfler says that juice drinkers miss out on fibers which play a vital role in nutrition along with minerals and vitamins.

Of course, there are some health and diet experts who oppose these views. Jamba Juice’s Healthy Living Council’s registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward is one of them. She says epidemiological studies carried out on juice consumption do not establish cause and effect as such. While juices may not be magic potions, they are far better than fizzy drinks that contain empty calories. Naked Juice and Tropicana’s spokeswoman Karen May said that a lot of people in the USA skip eating produce in required amounts. For them fruit juice scan be the right choice to fill nutritional deficit. May said Orange juice is a good option for people to fulfill nutrient deficit while enjoying the flavor and taste.


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