One glass of O.J. contains as much as 80 calories
While many think of it as a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, juice is also a source of something that can wreck havoc on a diet — a high level of sugar.
It may be surprising to add juice to the list of foods to be consumed in moderation, but Ciara Foy, a registered nutritional consultant practitioner at Life Nourished Naturally said it causes more harm than good.
"Basically people think that orange juice is good for breakfast, but it has a lot of sugar even if it is 100 per cent juice," she said. "Natural sugar has the same effect on the blood sugar level. It is just concentrated sugar into the blood stream."
Too much sugar can cause insulin production to return it to a natural level. This in turn causes the body to store fat.
With 80 calories in one glass of orange juice, Foy said the concern lies in not enough available nutrition. She said that it is better to look to the original source for vitamins found in juice.
"If you compare 80 calories of juice with 80 calories of fruit, you will fill up a lot faster on the fruit, and you aren’t going to eat as much," she said. "There are better ways to get those vitamins which is eating the whole fruit."
Juicing fruit at home can provide a healthier alternative. While still high in sugar, it is the lesser of two evils because it is not pasteurized, as store-bought juices are, and still contain the natural enzymes and phyto-chemicals, which help fight disease and are lost in pasteurization.
"If you drink it within the first half hour, you still get all of the enzymes," Foy said. "It is also a great way to hide vegetables like spinach or carrots."
Special care should be taken when serving children juice, as they already consume an estimated five pounds of sugar a week.
"People ask where all of that comes from, but how much is in that juice, how much is in that pancake or that granola bar, things that people think are healthy for them," Foy said. "They are given juice instead of pop, but there’s very similar sugar levels."