It’s easy to assume that fruit juice must be good for you. After all, it is common knowledge that fruit is extremely nutritious, and fruit juice is made out of fruit — so it has be good for your health. Even better, fruit juice is delicious and convenient, requiring no peeling, washing, or slicing as with whole fruit. Combine these factors together and fruit juice can seem like the ideal healthy food. There’s just one problem — c

The essential problem is that fruit juice is very high in sugar. While fruit itself has plenty of sugar, there are big differences between whole, unprocessed fruit and fruit juice. Whole fruits are chock-full of fiber, all of which is stripped out in the juice-making process. Fiber plays a critical role in healthy digestion and is very filling, promoting eating in moderation. Without any fiber, fruit juices are digested quickly, resulting in sharp, unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.

The juice-making process doesn’t just take fiber. Vitamin and minerals are also lost. For example, making orange juice destroys the pulp of the orange, in which are found valuable flavonoids. Unfortunately, some juices do more than just destroy valuable nutrients. Many juices actually have extra sugar added in. The bottom line is this: fruit juice has all the nutritional drawbacks of whole fruit with few of the accompanying advantages.

The juice-making process doesn’t just take fiber. Vitamin and minerals are also lost. For example, making orange juice destroys the pulp of the orange, in which are found valuable flavonoids. Unfortunately, some juices do more than just destroy valuable nutrients. Many juices actually have extra sugar added in. The bottom line is this: fruit juice has all the nutritional drawbacks of whole fruit with few of the accompanying advantages.

Sugar has other bad effects too. By increasing levels of harmful bad cholesterol, sugar damages the cardiovascular system, contributing to heart disease. Sugar also damages teeth by feeding the bacteria that destroy enamel and cause cavities. Finally, sugar increases risk of diabetes by contributing to both obesity and insulin insensitivity.

Fruit juice, sadly, is one of the best examples of a food that seems like it must be good for you, but is in reality quite the opposite. Now, drinking fruit juice in moderation is still okay. In fact, fruit juice is a better choice than soda pop. The big key is simply not to get suckered into believing fruit juice is a health food. That false belief can lead to poor diet choices and significantly worse health.

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