Natural fruit juices are trendy: there are all kinds of juice bars, where people serve a fresh orange juice mixed with banana. I do not know if it is because everyone is doing it or because there’s a tendency to eat “healthy”.
Many times I have told my friends that the first change to make is in their diet, that’s where most mistakes people make. Most of the time I get an answer like “I eat very healthy – cereals with milk in the morning, as well as orange juice”. And what you should know is that there’s nothing healthy in those quotes.
Back to juices. Do fruit juices make you fat?
Although it is a healthy option compared to artificial juices, fresh fruit juice is extremely high in sugar and has fewer nutrients Vs the same whole fruit. For example, you will have much more calories in a glass of apple juice than if you eat apples.
This is because it is extremely high in fructose without any fiber, which gives the whole fruit full satiety and turns it into a complex carbohydrate due to those fibers that make the absorption slow, and thus you do not stress the pancreas to support a massive secretion of insulin (which is the fattening hormone because it promotes fat formation and BLOCKS fat burning). The first argument is that, in general, fruit juices are fattening.
To summarize, fruit juice largely reduces the benefits of peel of the fruit. Peel and fruit pulp contain most of the nutrients in the fruit – one can understand how many flavonoids and carotenoids it contains only by looking at their color.
Again, when you consume fruit juice, much of the pulp and peel remain in the juicer. These are the fibers that make the difference between a simple and complex carbohydrate. Fibers are important for the health of the intestines and aid digestion. In fact, fiber has been shown to help in diabetes , because it controls blood glucose levels.
But fructose in fruits is natural, so it’s good, right?
Freshly squeezed fruit juice contains a mixture of fructose, sucrose and glucose, which together become as dangerous as the sugar in soda. These sugars, along with the acidic nature of the fruits, lead to serious problems of the teeth, eroding tooth enamel and leading to cavities (especially in children). Another argument that juices fatten.
Studies have shown that fructose can lead to increased triglycerides, which is an important risk for heart disease. Also, animal studies have shown that feeding on fructose-based foods increases blood pressure and lowers leptin levels (a hormone that gives satiety levels).
A glass of juice (200 ml) contains of which 90% carbohydrates most of it being fructose, which is a lot for your liver.
In conclusion, do fruit juices fatten or not?
If your goal is to lose weight, I do not recommend consuming fruit juices frequently. If you are on maintenance or muscle growth, you can occasionally consume this type of juice, especially after training. If you still want an alternative to juices (for yourself or the little ones), you can combine a freshly squeezed orange with water, so the amount will not be very concentrated. Also, lemonade is very good (no sugar, xylitol or stevia) since lemon has an alkaline effect.
My personal recommendation, if you need something sweet, go with Monk Fruit sweetener. I personally prefer this 3lbs pack from Amazon (it’s actually Amazon’s Choice for this type of sweetener:
So there you have it, folks! Let me know how it works with ditching the juices and using much better sweetening alternatives.