In our quest to stay healthy, we often go for quick fixes like packaged fruit juices without realizing the harm it causes. Find out why Packaged Fruit Juices are Bad for you and your family.
We live in a period where all of us have access to a great deal of health-awareness articles on the internet. Most of us are getting educated about the essential instincts of an ideal food consumer. And all of this just cannot stop us from getting health conscious, sometimes over-the-top!
But practically speaking, our life seems to be stuffed with deadline-driven goals & contention for financial security, which leaves us with very, very little time for our most important asset – our health. Planning and preparing every morsel we eat & every drop that drizzles down our throat seems pretty difficult, right? And yet, we have this enormous penchant for a perfectly healthy and disease-free life. The result? We are always on the lookout for quick-fix solutions that are labelled as healthy and require no effort. So, PACKAGED FRUIT JUICES, here we come!
An Illusion of Health
Those glossy tetra packs have always been festooned with pictures of the juiciest pick of fruits covered with shiny droplets of water, as though water from the springs nourished them most of the time. Promising “100% fruit juice” with “No added sugar” and the “pulpy” lots, smart marketers make them seem like they’re all it takes to stay healthy with the goodness of “fruit” in them. Ads hailing them as total substitutes to actual fruits for picky kids easily come across as a relief for worried Moms.
Nevertheless, the truth dawns upon only when we try to unearth the facts behind these clever ways of promoting packaged fruit juices. Like, for a considerable part of my life, since childhood, there never was a culture of apprehension about consuming these packaged/canned foods either. However, with the unwelcome rise in obesity even in kids, there has been an omnipresent sense of concern about what factors are to be blamed for it. Nutritionists & renowned dietitians share the dais to discuss the cons of consuming packaged juices labelled as “All natural” & “Not from concentrate” on television platforms quite often these days.
The Truth behind Packaged Fruit Juices
Kristen Ciuba, a renowned nutritionist and health coach from Washington, says, “You register calories differently when you drink them rather than eat them. Many people get a third of their total daily calories from sweetened and caloric drinks.” She, therefore, suggests her clients to eliminate these sweetened & packaged fruit juices & beverages.
Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar asserts, “The problem is not sugar. The problem is processed and packaged food that is high on sugar, particularly since this form of sugar is mostly derived from high fructose corn syrup, which is linked to obesity.” Diwekar further upholds that these processed juices contain an excess of low-quality sugar that our bodies are not designed to tackle, which often jeopardizes our health & lifestyle.
Why Packaged Fruit Juices are Bad for You
1. Loss of Nutrients
Fruits are never even close to good when boiled. If you see any bottle, tetra pack or a can of juice, all of them can last for a minimum of 6 months. How do we then contemplate these juices to be naturally squeezed & packed? So, there’s obviously something that prolongs their shelf-lives. That’s right. The heat treatments. These drinks are nothing but oxygen-depleted remains of the concentrate which is obtained after pasteurization. The entire intricacy of processing strips the juice of all the nutrition. The entire process renders the stuff a lackluster liquid. Why would you want to drink something like that? If thirst is a concern, grab a water bottle quickly!
2. Lack of Fiber
Fruits are best known as the natural powerhouses of fiber. While a substantial consumption of fiber in our daily diet is always welcome for an active sort of living, these packaged juices are anything but fiber. NO, don’t succumb to brands that shout “PULP” either! Because there isn’t any. All that’s fed to you is artificial additives that are camouflaged with identical flavors.
3. Excess Sugar
Look out for the nutrition label on the bottle or tetra pack. Why would you ingest empty calories only in the name of great taste? To make these “juices” taste like juices, manufacturers add sugar beyond the prescribed limits along with artificial sweetening agents, preservatives & colors, some of which have even shown to be carcinogenic. Many drinks contain Sodium Benzoate or variations of Benzoic Acid. These are actual examples of carcinogenic ingredients, which the companies mask with sophisticated yet safe-sounding names that they don’t want the consumer to figure out or Google! Now, isn’t that a pretty scary potion?
4. Misleading Satiety
Our brain can always comprehend signals of satiety or feelings of “being full” upon feeding when hungry. First of all, most of the time, we confuse thirst for hunger. While water could be a savour here, we still love to gorge with these chilled, fancy liquids especially when they’re straight out from the fridge. WHY? Just because they taste insanely sweeter than water. And then, even after gulping 2 such bottles, we still refuse to stop. That’s because the sweetness gets us addictive & our ‘hunger’ never seems to satiate at all. No wonder, we gradually put on weight, feel sick, irritable & bloated for most part of the day.
Well, I personally discovered that giving up on these packaged drinks itself triggered an appreciable part of weight loss.
5. Bye-Bye, Pearly whites!
Dental case studies have demonstrated time after time, that packaged fruit juices containing significantly high levels of sugar cause dental erosion from sustained acid attacks, especially in kids under 3. So people, it’s not just the chocolates & candies. However, today, even sensibly responsible parents are easily gulled by the “organic” tags associated with certain brands of this packaged juice bandwagon.
Hence, the Bottom line…
- Simply EAT YOUR FRUITS. No matter how hard it may seem to wash, wipe, pack or cut them.
- In absolutely unavoidable situations, try tender coconut water, cane sugar or its juice. For juice from outside stores, watch out for the basic aspects of hygiene; be it the juicing machine or the utensils involved.
Because, we really shouldn’t be seeing any reason to juice our fruits when we’ve got teeth. Isn’t it?
Ashvini Naik is a Yogaphile, fitness enthusiast and a former corporate software trainer. She is a happy wife and a Mom to a naughty 4-year-old daughter. She writes about parenting and fitness at https://www.fitbewell.com.