Is Orange Juice Healthy?
August 22, 2016 22 Comments
A tall glass of orange juice is hard to resist but is it healthy?
Plenty of people take a look at the container above and see that lovely orange with a straw and think – hey, this is good for me! It only has one ingredient “oranges” and it tastes good.
Also, check out that vitamin C and other nutrient amounts in one serving. This has to be healthy!
Orange juice was one the first things that Weight Watchers convinced me to give up when I needed to lose weight. I used to drink about 4-6 ounces a day and when I stopped, I dropped a few pounds.
This 8 ounce serving has 22 grams of sugar per glass! And it isn't fresh from the orange.
Most commercial orange juice is so heavily processed that it would be undrinkable if not for the addition of something called flavor packs. This is the latest technological innovation in the industry’s perpetual quest to mimic the simplicity of fresh juice.
Oils and essences are extracted from the oranges and then sold to a flavor manufacturer who concocts a carefully composed flavor pack customized to the company’s flavor specifications. The juice, which has been patiently sitting in storage sometimes for more than a year, is then pumped with these packs to restore its aroma and taste, which by this point have been thoroughly annihilated.
Did you know that? Well, I didn’t. Of course, when you have fresh squeezed orange juice it tastes nothing like Tropicana so we could have guessed something was going on. It is nothing like an orange with a straw.
Take a look at the nutrient facts in one orange:
62 calories, 0.16 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 15.3 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugar, 1.2 g protein, 3.1 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, Vitamin C 116%, Vitamin A 6%, Calcium 5%, Iron 1%, Potassium 237 mg
And one 8 ounce glass of orange juice:
110 calories, 0 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 22 g sugar, 2 g protein, 0 g fiber, 0 mg sodium, Vitamin C 120%, Calcium 2%, Potassium 450 mg
If you could suck an orange into a straw, you would get almost the same amount of Vitamin C and nutrients but you get more fiber and less sugar.
It is a clear choice when you look at an orange versus orange juice as to which is healthier. But is orange juice unhealthy?
The British government thinks so. They are calling on a tax on fruit juice and a warning to consumers that is has as much sugar as Coke. From a nutrition expert in the UK:
Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly.
Orange juice is a highly processed drink with a lot of sugar per serving. It does remind one of soda, doesn’t it?
My advice is to drink it rarely or dilute it. Don’t let its beautiful color or packaging fool you – it is not healthy.
Do you drink orange juice? Have you been tricked into thinking it is a healthy choice?
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