Juicing and Juices
Sweet Garllie Albert R. Tappan, MD
Over the past few years, the cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus have significantly increased not just worldwide, but also within our country. It is considered as one of the top causes of death and disabling complications such as blindness, kidney failure and amputations. That’s why it is very important for us to lower our risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as the obesity associated with it. One way to do this is by reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Many think that drinking fruit juices is a healthier option compared to drinking other sweetened drinks like soft drinks. But is this really true? Here we will try to debunk some of the myths and bring to light the real facts about fruit juice intake.
First, let us define some terms.1-6
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) – include any beverage with added sugar or other sweeteners, such as carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit punch, fruit juice concentrates, powdered drink mixes, and energy drinks. Sugar-sweetened beverages typically contain 140 to 150 kcal (around 35 to 37.5g of sugar) per 12-oz. (360mL) serving, and they are the largest sources of added sugars in a typical Westernized diet.
Fruit juice – can legally describe a product which is 100% fruit juice both in the UK and the USA. However, a juice made by reconstituting concentrate can still be called juice. Pure (100 %) fruit juices can be nutrient-dense foods providing potassium, magnesium, folate, calcium, vitamins A and C, and soluble fiber as well as an array of bioactive substances including carotenoids and flavonoids. Depending on regulations and trends, beverages listed as 100% juice may actually contain unlisted additives (eg. ethyl butyrate, ascorbic acid, and water).
Juice cocktail or juice drink (USA) – a blend of fruit juices with other ingredients, example, highfructose corn syrup, also known as sugar-sweetened fruit juice. Fruit nectar (UK) – must contain at least 25 to 50% juice, depending on the fruit.
Juice concentrate – pasteurized juice that is juiced from the fruit then filtered through a processor that extracts water. With this process, the juice takes up less space when transported. Before packaging and marketing, water is added back into the concentrated juice and subsequently pasteurized. Pasteurization involves quickly heating the juice to kill any harmful bacteria.
What is the difference between juicing and blending?
JUICING VERSUS BLENDING
|Essentially removes all fibrous materials, leaving only the liquid of the fruits or vegetables; therefore these lack fiber||Blended fruits and vegetables retain all their FIBER|
|Provides a high glycemic index (GI)||Leads to a lower insulin response|
|Highly concentrated; has more amounts of vitamins and nutrients May lead to faster absorption of sugar||Better for the general population since it may lead to healthy digestion and the fibrous parts also contain beneficial antioxidants|
In juicing, one may get more concentrated and easily-absorbed nutrients. However, it contains little to no fiber, and this is actually not good, since fiber is important for health and proper digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and slows digestion, and this helps manage blood sugar levels. One study has also compared the presence of phytochemicals (antioxidant compounds with potential anti-cancer properties) in grapefruit juice vs. blended grapefruits and found that the blended fruit had higher concentration of this beneficial compound since it is primarily found in the fibrous membranes of the fruit.
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