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Fruit juices and sugar consumption


Pineapple juice. Photo Fitness Spell

Sugar includes all simple carbohydrates, monosaccharides and disaccharides which come naturally in food as well as the one added to food during processing.

The simple sugar contained in whole fruit, and fruit juices, is mostly in form of fructose but also include glucose and sucrose.

The sugar in 100% fruit juice always comes with the fruits that have been juiced. It is never added.

Accordingly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) takes account of natural sugars contained in fruit juices in the “free sugars” category.


Sugar in 100% fruit juice

Hundred percent fruit juices contain no “added” sugar, flavour or preservatives.

The truth is, fruit juices contain fructose which to a great extent, are more or less equivalent to the raw fruits from which they are juiced.

In that wise, juices extracted from fruits with higher sugar content contain more sugar than juices obtained from less sugary fruits and this can serve as a guide to make decision on which fruit juice to choose.

An example is when you compare pineapple with apple juice. 


100% fruit juice and effects on health

In a moderate consumption of 100% fruit juice, the amount of simple sugar is far lower than the levels considered to be of adverse effect on health.

Most often, the largest quantity of sugar in our diet tends to come from sweetened-processed products such as cakes, sweets, chocolates, puddings/desserts and sugar-added beverages

As a matter of fact, research supports favourable effects of fruit juices on lipid profile and blood pressure.

Talking about the correlation between 100% fruit juice and obesity or diabetes, there is no evidence of any risk associated with moderate consumption (say a glass of fruit juice) as part of a balanced and varied diet.

Available studies regarding the possible effects of 100% per cent fruit juice on cardiovascular and cancer risk point to a neutral impact.

With regards to dental decay, there is no major evidence of a link with the consumption of fruit or 100% fruit juice, except when related to feeding bottles in early childhood.

In a methodical review of the evidence, there exists no reliable evidence of negative impact of 100% fruit juice on health, including body weight, cardiovascular disease and risk of type two diabetes.


Goodness of fruit juice

Juice is an important source of nutrients for many people and 100% fruit juice makes a valuable contribution to your daily intake of Vitamin C. A glass of pure orange fruit juice is also a good source of folate and potassium.

It is a difficult task for children, and harder for adults, to eat the five recommended portions of fruit a day, a problem readily solved by ready to drink fruit juices like Chivita 100% Fruit Juice.

But surprisingly, the sugar scare is overshadowing the positive contributions that fruit juice makes to the national health.

“With a busy lifestyle, our eating habits have become packed with preservatives and processed foods that are not only devoid of essential nutrients but can also cause some harm to the body.

100% fruit juice helps to correct the imbalance caused by these new eating habits; boost the immune system and keep the body in perfect health.”

A sensible dietary advice is to encourage everyone, particularly those finding it difficult to reach five-a-day fruit portion to drink at least a glass of pure fruit juice each day.


In a nut shell…

The sugar content in 100% fruit juices is similar to the fruits from which they are derived.

If kept within suggested dietary allowance of a daily balanced diet, 100% fruit juices cannot be said to contribute significantly to high sugar intake.

Based on available studies, children and adolescents who report a higher level of added sugar consumption tend to consume the least fruit juice.

Fructose: the simple sugar in fruit juices help releases energy slowly than processed sugars.

So, it is a great option for health conscious and discerning consumers. Do not hesitate to take a shot of 100% fruit juice goodness.

• Dr. Abiola is a Nutritionist and Wellness Expert.

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