Why I Never Drink Fruit Juice
I used to drink fruit juice, until I discovered whole-food green smoothies
Last week, I ran into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in, literally, 15 years. She told me that 20 years ago, I taught her green smoothies. To my horror, she’s still making them the way I did back then in the first year of my discovery. I’m ashamed to tell you what the three ingredients were for the first 10 years:
Canned pineapple juice, spinach, and alfalfa sprouts
We called it “green cream.” I bet I bought $2,000 of pineapple juice in those years. Now, I shudder to think of that. I literally NEVER drink juice.
Back then, I didn’t know that it has as much concentrated sugar in it as soda has—although, it’s a natural sugar without all the chemicals added.
When you take the fiber out of the fruit, leaving only the juice, a glass can contain the sugar of 8 oranges! Without the fiber to slow down impact on blood sugar, you’re in trouble.
It was an absolute revelation, years later, to learn that juice is totally unnecessary. That with a turbo blender (instead of the crappy one I had back then), I could blend just water, greens (stalks and all!) and frozen fruit. The result was far more nutritious and without the impact on blood sugar that, over time, would lead to insulin resistance.
This is an important thing to know, since, literally, most of us are careening towards a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, if something doesn’t give. There’s exponentially more added sugar in our foods now than there was just a generation ago. “My grampa lived to be 98” doesn’t mean much anymore. The effect on the bottom line is that we eat an average of 530 calories more than we did in 1970, according to the USDA. Our average weight shows it.
A small meta study published by PLOS ONE reviewed four previously published studies and found that a higher intake of sugar-sweetened fruit juice was associated with Type 2 Diabetes (Bo et al., March 2014). There are multiple other studies suggesting that consumption of fruit juice and fruit punch may increase risk of obesity and heart disease.
As food journalist, Michael Pollan, has documented, “our great-great-grandparents wouldn’t know what most of our food is, today.” He says Americans eat 31 percent more processed food than fresh food, and more in the U.S. than in any other country.