While fruit juice is often perceived as a healthy beverage full of vitamins that are great for your body, what is often left out is the fact that they can also be full of sugar. In some cases, fruit juice can contain as much sugar and calories as a soda. Here’s a deeper look at what you’re getting when you buy a fruit juice, even when it’s labeled 100% juice, and why it might not be the most beneficial beverage for your health.
While we all know that juice comes from fruit, while soda is artificially sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice still has an average fructose concentration of about 45 grams per liter, only slightly less than the average soda concentration of 50 grams per liter. One of the highest on the list is Minute Maid 100 percent apple, which has almost 66 grams of fructose per liter (Coca-Cola has 62.5 grams and Dr. Pepper has 61 grams).
On top of that, a lot of the benefits that you might expect from drinking fruit juice are not as present as they are when you actually eat the fruit. The difference is that eating the whole fruit provides fiber which slows down the absorption of sugar in the body, which counteracts the effects of consuming fructose. Drinking orange juice will provide your body with Vitamin C, which helps improve the immune system, as well as antioxidants, but you’re still far better off eating oranges.
Especially when it comes to kids drinking juice, it’s important to monitor their intake. The sugars in them still lead to tooth decay if overdone. Especially if you have a young child at home still using a sippy cup, filling it with fruit juice is a big no-no. The constant “acid attack” provided by fruit juice wears away enamel and contributes to developing cavities. Be sure to stick to water during the sippy-cup phase and encourage your child to start using a regular cup as soon as possible.
For more information on how to prevent childhood tooth decay in your kids, speak to your pediatric dentist. Great oral hygiene habits, including regular checkups, combined with a healthy diet are the best ways to keep their teeth healthy.