Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fruit Juice bad for you?.. of Juices, Sugars and Livers..

So is fruit juice really bad for you? To arrive at the answer, let's understand what fruits contain:

From Sugar POV:

Fruits contain: Fructose + Sucrose.
There's a reason why Fructose is in bold.

Some fruits contain more Fructose than Glucose and vice versa.More on this in the upcoming posts.. for now let's stick to whether or not juices are bad for you.

Now let's understand what happens when you make fruit juice.. Let's take orange juice as an example:

Issue 1: THE SUGAR
To make one glass of orange juice you take at least 4 oranges, 6 if they're very small. Then you squeeze the juice out of it and throw away the fibrous part of it.

So, one orange contains approximately 15 gms of sugar. So now your glass of juice contains 15 x 5 = 75 gms of sugars!!! WOOAAHH!! No wonder it tastes so sweet and leaves you craving for more if you don't have a large glass of it! Shocked?? you've got all reason to be... Not only that , you are not even consuming the roughage / fiber from those 5 oranges. We all know the benefits of fiber and this deserves one full post in the future... for now... ya.. the juice..

As conveyed above, fruits contain FRUCTOSE + GLUCOSE. Some fruits contain more fructose than glucose and vice versa. Now, if you consume a big glass of Juice, of a fruit that contains more fructose than glucose , matters get worse:

Glucose can be metabolized by every cell in the body and is distributed directly into the blood. When glucose enters the blood stream, the body releases insulin to regulate it.. whereas Fructose can be metabolized only in the liver... The liver cannot process large amounts of fructose quickly and results in it being stored as fat.

Infact, Fructose may also be responsible for: 
  1. Bloating, excessive flatulence, loose stools, and even diarrhea depending on the amounts consumed and other factors. For people with celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other fructose absorption issues, fructose malabsorption may be a major health concern.
  2. Excess fructose consumption has been hypothesized to be a cause of insulin resistance, obesity,elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
  3. "When fructose reaches the liver," says Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, "the liver goes bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the fructose."
  4. Eating fructose instead of glucose results in lower circulating insulin and leptin levels, and higher ghrelin levels after the meal.Since leptin and insulin decrease appetite and ghrelin increases appetite, some researchers suspect that eating large amounts of fructose increases the likelihood of weight gain.
  5. Excessive fructose consumption is also believed to contribute to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Let me Glamourize this for you: 

2 cubes of Sugar in your tea don't seem so bad anymore, do they??
So will a whole fruit or 2 everyday , harm your body or make you fat? May be not... but when this starts going to 2 glasses of fruit juice everyday = fructose from 10-12 oranges or fructose from 10-12 apples ... you can only imagine what you're doing to your liver and to your body as a whole...
There!! We've solved the conundrum of whether or not fruit juice is bad for your body!!
I've always recommended everybody around me to have Whole fruit than fruit juice , because of its numerous advantages as compared to concentrated juice from 10-12 of the same fruit.

Having said that, we all love fruit juice....Because it's SWEEEETTT!!!! that's because Fructose is the SWEETEST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING CARBOHYDRATES.
(Relative sweetness of 173 as compared to Sucrose at 100).... So... even I enjoy a glass of fruit juice (once a month) .. we all love it.. Cheers to that I say!!


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