January 13, 2014

“Orange juice has about as many calories as coke.”

Update:  Frozen Yogurt, Granola, Healthfood Bars & Orange Juice. Check this chart for thee least healthy things you think are the most Healthy:  Is Sushi ‘Healthy’? What About Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists Disagree

Part of our series: “All things in moderation, including moderation.”


Gluten-free is (mostly) hype for (most of) us.

Kale Kills (not really, but). 

Bonus readL Sugar content is unacceptably high in children’s fruit juices and smoothies(thebiph.org) Apple juice in particular is bad; it’s effectively just sugar-water. Here’s the study.


Is Juicing Fruit Daily Bad for Us?

“All fruit juices contain as much sugar as Coke.”

Recently, a NY Times editorial declared that Juicing, Smoothies, Lemon Water might be bad for us!? [link]

Many sources linked below, more sources hereclick here for more discussion. Most of the below are direct quotes taken from these linked sources, and not editorialized opinions by myself or anyone at elephant. ~ ed.

Don’t like reading stuff? Conclusion: fruit juices in moderation are healthy.

Question: Is Orange Juice really as unhealthy as soft drinks?

Not just orange juice, but all fruit juices contain as much sugar as Coke. Sugar in fruit is “just the way nature tricked us into eating fiber,” and without the rest of the fruit, we’re basically drinking soda.

> Pediatrician: “Eating fruit is 10x more healthy than drinking fruit juice.” Often, when we drink juice, we consume much more of it than if we were eating the fruit. This is common sense: it takes time and effort (during which we have time to get full) to peel fruit, take out the seeds, and eat only the good parts. Our brain will tell us to stop eating after a few fruits. But with juice, we can gulp down, say, eight oranges in a hot minute.

> Fiber vs. Sugar. Generally speaking, too much of a good thing isn’t good. When we drink a lot of juice, and consume too much sugar, too quickly, drinking juice is as unhealthy as soft drinks.

The problem is the volume we tend to drink. How much juice would you get from juicing a single orange? Maybe 2oz. When you have a glass of juice, you’re likely to have closer to 8oz more. So you’re getting most of the sugar from the fruit, without the fiber or roughage. Eating four oranges would likely fill you up, and you’d be likely to account for those calories in your total daily intake—but drinking four oranges worth of orange juice would not have the same satiating effect.

> Fruit is good for us. It’s Real Food! But when we consume sugar by itself, it’s not so good. When we consume the juice as part of the fruit, surrounded in fiber, it’s much healthier. So: an actual orange is better for us than its juice. > Peer-reviewed source.

> Tip: “don’t worry about the amount of fruit: look for grams of sugar. Usually anything above 15 isn’t that great. And always pay attention to the serving size. Some less-healthy products will use a small serving size to get those numbers down.” (Looking at you, juice companies). “I like to convert it to ‘per 100 ml’ or ‘per 100 g’ so I can put things into perspective and give meaningful comparisons.

OJ has a lot of sugar and acids that can harm your teeth.

Orange juice has about as many calories as coke.

But it also has vitamins (especially freshly squeezed juice).”

> So: don’t drink too much of it, and regularly brush your teeth. Note: because of the acidity of OJ, if we brush our teeth right after drinking it, it will take off the enamel from our teeth. Source

> Juice with “pulp” is slightly better than without. Fiber relieves blood sugar spikes. But even if you get “100% from OJ not from concentrate”, it still will have, on average, 10 grams of sugar per 100ml. That’s a lot!

So: an orange is a much better choice than both orange juice and soda.

> This is why juice glasses are supposed to be these small 4-6 oz. containers. You’re just having a single small amount with breakfast which is fine and satisfying without guzzling vast quantities of sugar. But I see people drinking much more than that all the time.
Have you ever squeezed an orange? How many oranges do you need to make a single cup of orange juice? If you guessed 3-4ish, you’d probably be right. Each orange is about 60 calories, so that’s 180-240 calories you’ve consumed with those four oranges. Now, that in and of itself isn’t so bad.

The problem is that you just consumed about half a meal’s allotment in a few swift mouthfuls.

You’re still going to get hungry when the time comes.

> The cancer link. Having two sodas a week will almost double your odds of pancreatic cancer. Orange juice did not produce the same result.

According to a recent Reuters article, theoretically sugar fuels tumors, and regular soda drinkers have an 87% high risk of developing certain cancers. People that drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. But those drinking fruit juice instead of sodas, even though fruit juices are high in sugars, did not have the same risk, according to a study of 60,000 people in Singapore.

From write up about: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “Soft Drink and Juice Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: The Singapore Chinese Health Study.”

That said:

Findings were inconsistent. Two of the four studies found a positive association (24, 25), whereas the other two did not find any association between soft drinks and pancreatic cancer risk (26, 27). Only one of these four studies also examined the association between juice intake and pancreatic cancer risk and found a positive but nonsignificant association (26).”

The full study is available here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404432/

> Juice is great for fast energy and weight gain, when we need it.

Where juice is beneficial is when we’ve been working out and consuming calories but haven’t had time to properly digest the food that we ate for our last meal. Juice can quench our thirst, and our need for energy, at the same time.

Otherwise, it’s just empty carbs. A lot of empty carbs.


Drink water and buy fruit. 

If fruit is essentially soda—orange juice has as much sugar, and as many calories as a Coke (give or take)…and Coke is mentioned as harmful in the context of obesity and diabetes—well, then OJ will not be a better alternative in those contexts. Again, however, does not mean that it’s unhealthy in general (it has vitamins, and some fiber if you have the pulp in it) but it is not good for weight loss. In fact, for weight gain it’s great.


Relephant bonus:


This is what one sip of soda does to your body.

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