Juicing is not synonymous with eating fruit from a nutritional point of view
While “fruit juice” is synonymous with “fruit” for a large part of the population. Many nutritionists recommend limiting fruit juice to a maximum of one glass a day. Although they may not be aware that this even includes juice. 100%, because the juice contains almost as much sugar and almost as many calories as a soda. This is so because for experts, the sugars present in fruit juice, even if it is freshly squeezed, are considered “free sugars”, like fructose. It is suspected of being involved in chronic diseases. A sugary drink is assimilated as the nutritional value of a juice.
In addition, there is research that includes juices in the concept of “sugary drink”. This is the case of the study in the journal Circulation published in 2015 (Singh et al., 2015), in which it considers that any drink that provides at least 50 kilocalories per 23 centiliters should be called a “sugary drink”.
Thus, in this category, in addition to the well-known “soft drinks”, “sports” drinks known as “isotonic”, “energy” drinks, or sweet iced teas, most juices can also be included. Whether they are homemade or not: 23 centiliters of homemade orange juice provide about eighty kilocalories according to the CESNID-UB Food Composition Table Book, coordinated by Dr. Andreu Farran.
Classification of beverages according to their nutritional value
If you go back to March 2006, you will see that a system for categorizing beverages based on their energy content and health properties, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Popkin et al., 2006), placing the juices in the penultimate level (level 5 of 6), making it clear that their habitual consumption is not recommended. This level 5 is described as follows.
Level 5: Caloric drinks with some nutrients
High-calorie drinks with limited health benefits (fruit juices, whole milk, alcoholic drinks, and sports drinks). Fruit juices (100% juice) provide most of the nutrients from their natural source, but are relatively high in energy content and may be lacking in fiber and other beneficial non-nutrient compounds present in the entire product. There is no specific need to consume fruit juices, and the consumption of whole fruits should be encouraged for satiety and energy balance. The United States Committee on Dietary Guidelines recommended that no more than one-third of the daily fruit intake be in the form of juices. Fruit shakes are generally high-calorie versions of fruit drinks and are therefore not recommended (Popkin et al., 2006).
The generation of chronic non-communicable diseases associated with the repeated consumption of juices or fruit juices.
One of the latest scientific studies on the subject, published in April 2016, detailed that fruit juices do not seem healthy alternatives to sugary drinks for the prevention of type 2 diabetes (Imamura et al., 2015).
Something that also has looked at other studies. One of them, the one published in 2013 by Muraki et al., observed that higher consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes (Muraki et al., 2013).
Why? Because, as the text expands on a whole fruit better than a juice, the metabolic effects of fruit are not the same or comparable to those exerted by juices. This is because “kilocalorie for kilocalorie, fruit juice is consumable in a faster than unpressed fruit”. This last sentence is read in a position paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which warns that drinking too many juices increases the risk of excessive weight gain.
Among other reasons, because the juices do not stimulate chewing. And it is that there are serious suspicions that the intake of juices may contribute to the current obesity epidemic, something that seems to occur in both adults and children. Something similar was observed in children.
Research collected in June 2016 in which it is observed that the daily consumption of fruit juice is associated with child weight gain in childhood and suggests that this association is more present in the early preschool years. And an important review entitled “Reducing childhood obesity by eliminating 100% fruit juices”, in which it is details that the consumption of fruit juice by children is problematic due to its high sugar content and low fiber levels (Shefferly et al., 2016).
For example, four ounces of 100% apple juice has 0 grams of fiber. But 13 grams of sugar per 60 calories. Similarly, 100% grape juice has 20 grams of sugar for every four fluid ounces. Similarly, a half cup of sliced apples has half the calories (30) and fewer calories from sugar (5.5 g) and the addition of 1.5 grams of fiber. In addition, this article mentions that recent data suggest that excessive consumption of fructose, either from sucrose (approximately 50% fructose) in 100% fruit juice or high fructose corn syrup in sugary drinks, may be associated with liver injury and metabolic syndrome.
On the contrary, although the whole fruit also has fructose, the fiber present in the whole fruit limits the response to insulin and increases satiety. Thus, fruit juice can alter the energy signaling of the Central Nervous System, resulting in dependence and habituation, which is associated with excessive consumption and metabolic syndrome (MARSET, 2017).
Imamura, F., O’Connor, L., Ye, Z., Mursu, J., Hayashino, Y., Bhupathiraju, S. N., & Forouhi, N. G. (2015). Consumption of sugar-sweeten beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: Systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction. BMJ (Online), 351. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3576
MARSET, J. B. (2017). El zumo de fruta no es “fruta”, ni siquiera si es casero | Ciencia | EL PAÍS. https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/04/10/ciencia/1491821250_324473.html#
Muraki, I., Imamura, F., Manson, J. E., Hu, F. B., Willett, W. C., Van Dam, R. M., & Sun, Q. (2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ (Online), 347(7923). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5001
Popkin, B. M., Armstrong, L. E., Bray, G. M., Caballero, B., Frei, B., & Willett, W. C. (2006). A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States. In American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 83, Issue 3, pp. 529–542). American Society for Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn.83.3.529
Shefferly, A., Scharf, R. J., & Deboer, M. D. (2016). Longitudinal evaluation of 100% fruit juice consumption on BMI status in 2-5-year-old children. Pediatric Obesity, 11(3), 221–227. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijpo.12048
Singh, G. M., Micha, R., Khatibzadeh, S., Lim, S., Ezzati, M., & Mozaffarian, D. (2015). Estimated global, regional, and national disease burdens related to sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in 2010. Circulation, 132(8), 639–666. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010636
The article was written by
Milton Enrique Londoño Lemos M.Sc.; PhD; Postdoctoral Researcher