• Paul McGovern

If you’re overweight and trying to eat healthily, fruit juice is bad for you

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Fruit juice is bad for you because it’s very high in sugar. It doesn’t matter if it’s organic, or cold pressed, or in a carton, or squeezed fresh before your eyes. All fruit juice is high in sugar and too much sugar is bad for you. That vitality and goodness aura surrounding fruit juice is a marketing construct designed to sell you stuff, and it is nonsense. When you think of fruit juice, think less of vitality and goodness, and more of diabetes and obesity.

A stack of oranges next to a wine glass half filled with white sugar, with a cherry on top of the sugar in the glass
Fruit juice is basically sugar water

What about the vitamins? They’re not a good enough excuse, and the benefit of them is outweighed by the fact that fruit juice is basically sugar water – orange juice has nearly as much sugar in it as Coca-Cola.

A donut in a glass

Saying juice is good for you is like saying a donut is good for you if you stick a cherry on top. The donuts are still bad for you, and the ‘healthy’ cherry doesn’t cancel it out.

It doesn’t matter that the sugar is from a ‘natural’ source. Sugar from a packet is from a natural source – it’s just been processed to refine it and get it into the bag. When a fruit is juiced, it’s being processed. This processing takes the sugar and the water from the fruit, and leaves behind the solid part.

The solid part of the fruit – the part that gets left out of juice – is important. When an advert tells you a glass of juice has 4 oranges in it, you’re being misled. It doesn’t have 4 oranges in it. It has the sugar and water from 4 oranges.

There’s a big difference in terms of your health. If you try to eat 4 oranges, you’re much more likely to get sick of them and stop after a couple. You’re consuming some sugar, but you’re limited because you get full, or bored, or both.

With juice, there is no limit. You can easily drink a glass, or two, or more. It doesn’t fill you up, so you have a bit more. You feel pleased with yourself because you think fruit juice is healthy and good for you – so you have a bit more. You load more and more sugar into your stomach and it feels good. It doesn’t feel like you’re eating a burger and chips’ worth of calories.

Get the vitamins (plus a load of fibre) from eating fresh fruit.

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