PART 1 of 2: Is juice healthy, even if it's 100% fruit? Hypothesis: no.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

So occasionally the boy really likes to do science experiments. He understands the states of matter, the three things it takes to make fire (air, heat, combustible for those of you who forget) and it inspired me to do my own experiment.

My friend Alyson at Proud to be a Fit Mom recently asked me if juice was bad, and why. I couldn't answer her so I did some research and an experiment.

Hypothesis: juice is a poor choice because you drink WAY more juice than you would ever eat of the actual fruits it came from...and probably other reasons as-yet-unknown to me. Let's see...

Here are the glasses available in my house (well, the main ones we use, anyway):

Big, medium and small

Big dude

Wide-mouth short dude

Small dude

Big dude comfortably holds 1 1/3 cups (comfortably meaning you wouldn't spill it walking to the table with it)

Middle dude (as this is reminiscent of the three bears, I will call him "momma bear") can hold 1 cup comfortably

And in that same vein, "baby bear" comfortably holds between 1/2 and 2/3 cup.

 This is a gorgeous organic orange that was super ripe and it produced between 1/3 and 1/2 cup orange juice. You will note that the pulp is sitting there...useless...when you simply juice it...more on that shortly.

Let's first discuss simple volume....If one orange produces roughly 3oz of juice, and you have the poppa bear of juice above, you'd be drinking the rough equivalent of 3 oranges. When the heck is the last time you sat down and ate 3 oranges? Ridiculous. 

Now...let's look at the nutritional information of one large orange (assuming you peeled it and ate it) vs. the nutritional info of the "cadillac" not-from-concentrate (NFC) bottled juice, and the average fast-food version:
Vitamin C
1 orange (which when squeezed, makes 3 oz OJ)
3 oz regular NFC 
Regular serving size NFC in our house
Regular fast-food serving size (FC) (440mL)
Regular bottle of NFC (500mL)

Wow. I'm shocked. All this time I've excused 100% juice as "okay" without considering the volume, because it had "no added sugar" in it. Keep in mind, that although I'm guilty of sending a juice box for the boy in his lunch, any juice I pour for the kids is always 1/2 water, and I only drink juice maybe 1 time per week, but still, I had no idea.

When you consume that amount of fructose, without the fiber, iron and all the other lovelies that the factory threw out once it had squashed the LIFE out of the fruit, there's nothing to ease the instant sugar rush. Where does that go? Right into the blood stream, big sugar rush, big insulin spike, then you feel low, and store that additional sugar as...(drum roll please!!!) fat. Yep, that's right: I said FAT. Even if you're not overweight, that rise and crash really stresses the pancreas which produces all the insulin you need to counteract all that sugar. That's why it gets tired and closes up shop in more and more folks nowadays; the result is a little thing called Type 2 diabetes.

For more on the process of how the body turns fructose into fat, watch this video. Yes. It's long...I know. But it's worth it.

Part 2- Pasteurized vs Raw

Now. Pasteurization. The granola munchers (of which I have a part-time membership) are always going on about enzymes. When you cook food (as you do when you pasteurize juice for an extended shelf life), you apparently not only kill the vitamins and minerals, but the enzymes too. What the heck is an enzyme and why does it matter? Part 2 of 2 to follow...hopefully tomorrow but don't quote me on that. :)

Meanwhile, what did I do with that juice from this morning? I put the pulp, the juice and some ice into the blender. The result? Frothy, icy, heavenly, with bright flavour and rich sunshine in a glass. Don't believe me? Try it; peel an orange, drop it in the blender with 3 ice cubes and give it a wazz. You'll love it. 



Alyson said...

great post. thanks for doing the research for me. I think that cute guy on the o you tube also does a juice post. Can't hurt to check him out again ;)
love you

Post a Comment

Healthy food, healthy mind, healthy me Copyright © 2009 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template for Bie Blogger Template Vector by DaPino