Juice: Yea or Nay?

There’s a thread right now about how much sugar oranges and orange juice contain, and how bad for you orange juice is. It seems like it’s pretty much agreed that drinking orange juice isn’t a good idea, and I’ve heard the same about apple juice and, I think, grape juice.

So, is there a juice that’s good for you? I always thought juice was a basically good thing to drink, as long as it’s real juice and not that powdered stuff. But now it seems like water is pretty much the only healthy thing to drink, and I do so like drinking something with flavor…

Well, V-8 juice, being made from veggies, not fruits, is pretty good for you, if you can stomach the stuff, that is! But, basically, the more processed something is, the less of its nutritional value it maintains. You’re much better off eating whole fruit than drinking juice. But if all you’re looking for is a good-for-you beverage that is flavorful, there are a lot that come to mind:
Fruit-2O, basically fruit-flavored water with a little Nutrasweet or something thrown in

Crystal Light: like Kool-Aid, but with NutraSweet instead of sugar

Herbal iced tea, sweeten as you like (but keep in mind that honey’s not much better for you than table sugar. I’d use Splenda, but that’s just me).

Carbonated water (say, 8 oz.) with a couple of ounces of orange juice poured in for flavor.

But probably the best thing you can do for yourself is to develop a taste for water. If you drink several glasses a day 3 weeks, then if you stop, you will find yourself missing it. You may have to experiment. Some folks (like me) like it best ice cold. Others, room temp with a slice of lemon. Whatever works for you.

I’m sorry, I’m just not convinced that fruit juice - pure, unsweetened fruit juice, made from actual fruits - is bad for you. Yes, it has lots of sugar. But is that kind of sugar really so bad for you?

Unless I’m mistaken the human race evolved by eating fruit. I’m not ready to believe that it’s bad for us because of a few late-20th-century diet theories. Can someone please explain?

I didn’t see the other thread, but I would have a real hard time believing that OJ is actually bad for you, sugar or not. Maybe if you’re diabetic or something.

I didn’t see the other thread either, but as I understand it, it’s only as bad for you as candy, in that it’s empty calories with little nutrition. Now, who wants to claim that Gummy Worms are bad for you? :slight_smile:

It’s not so much that it is “bad for you” as in, “unhealthy” but fruit juice is very much an extraneous source of calories, and not more nutritive than a Coke, in general.

So fruit juice doesn’t have any nutrients? Does fruit have nutrients? If so, what happens to them once the fruit is juiced?

If not, why do so many animals (including us) make them such a large part of their diet?

Compare the first two entries in this table:

An apple has 81 Calories, 4 grams of fiber, 85mg vitamin A, 8mg vitamin C, 159mg potassium, and 4ug folate.
3/4 cup apple juice has 87 Calories, 0 fiber, 2mg vitamin A, 2mg vitamin C, 37mg potassium, and 0 folate.

Oranges and grapefruits look like they lose a lot less than apples do, though.

Well, look at it this way. You’ve squeezed juice oranges to make juice, right? And you get maybe 1/2 cup of actual juice from each orange, right? So that’s the reason why people used to have those little tiny 6 oz. “juice glasses” for orange juice, because you don’t get much juice out of an orange, and that way you only had to squeeze a couple of oranges to get it full. (Am I the only one who’s old enough to remember those?)

But nowadays orange juice comes by the gallon at Kroger, so people are used to drinking it by the big glassful the way you drink soda pop, like 8 or 12 or even 16 ounces at a time–one of those regular “big glasses” holds 16 oz. And a regular coffee mug holds 8 ounces of liquid, which is more than you’d think.

So if you drink a coffee mug of orange juice, you’ve just ingested the sugar equivalent of about 16 oranges.

And if you drink a 16 oz. bottle of OJ with your lunch, besides your lunch you also ingested the sugar equivalent of about 32 oranges.

So that’s not quite the same thing as “since we evolved as fruit-eaters, that means it’s okay to drink as much orange juice as you want”. Even the most ravenous early primate would have had a hard time eating 16 oranges at a sitting.

And I’m not just making this up off the top of my head, either. In this Diabetic fruit exchange, a entire medium-size fresh fruit, of whatever kind, is the equivalent of only 1/3 to 1/2 cup fruit juice. So 8 oz. of fruit juice, according to these guidelines, would be the sugar equivalent of 16 pieces of fresh fruit.

Tropicana to squeeze sugar out of orange juice

Although both colas and orange juice contain fructose, they certainly aren’t nutritionally equal. One cup of each provides:

Well I’m the guy who started the other thread about orange juice. It’s right here in GQ. I went over to our library for lunch and I just returned here is what I found out about Fruit and fruit juices.

When you sqeeze an orange you take out all the fiber you would be getting if eaten raw. Basically, you squeeze out minimal vitamin C and a whole lot of sugars. And 8 oz. glass of Tropicana has 26 grams of sugar in it. Thats a lot of sugar. V-8 and Tomato Juice has a lot of citric acids, and minimal sugars…but they have lot’s O’sodium. For instance V-8 has 640mg of sodium, whihc will certainly help you retain all that water you thought was so good to drink. (Don’t get me wrong, copious amounts of water is good for you…just don’t over do it)

For mor info on specific fruits and their nutrients see here . That cite is chock full of history and nutritional value of different fruits.

Basically, in a nutshell, fruit is good in moderation, but you are more likely to get more mineral sand vitamins from a supplement instead of from eating tons of fruit.

You’re confusing ounces and cups here. The parts I bolded should read “2 oranges”, “4 oranges”, and “2 pieces of fresh fruit”, respectively.

Ok, so juice isn’t necessarily bad for you, but it isn’t very good. I’d been drinking the orange and grapefruit juices with added calcium, since I like them better than milk, but maybe I’ll just start drinking milk for calcium instead… Unless there’s something wrong with milk, too.

No, absolutely nothing wrong with milk. :wink:

Hm … I’m a bit confused.

So by juicing an orange you’re losing some good stuff (fibre) and increasing the concentration of bad stuff (sugar).

I myself don’t drink orange juice (or apple, or grape), more like mango and peach. (I couldn’t juice a mango if I tried, so I have to use the store-bought kind.) Does anyone know the rules on those?

And I’m still not convinced that Crystal Light is better for you than fruit juice. It appears to me from all the cites that fruit juice still has lots of nutrients.

Yes, juice still has lot’s of nutrients, vitamins minerals etc…etc…but you need to look at it in % daily value. Take banannas: They are a good course of vitamin C, but a grown adult would need to eat 6 of them to get the % daily value they need. One multi-vitamin would easily give you the recommended dose.

hey I like Juice too Cowgirl a lot! I’m certainly not going to stop drinking it.

But what I am going to do is limit the juice intake because I want to shed some weigh…I look good at 6’2" - 200 pounds. So I need to lose 30 pounds right now. I found out from some dopers and literature that my fruit intake in the form of juices and such is negating me reaching my goal…so I’ll cut down.

You’re right. Now can you help me pick up the pieces of my head that just exploded? :smiley:

Yes, eating friut, not drinking the premaserated juice. You lose much of the benefit of fruit by removing the pulp.
Fructose is sugar. Its a longer chain sugar, but sugar, just the same. Sucrose (table sugar) is C[sub]12[/sub]H[sub]22[/sub]O[sub]11[/sub] Fructose & Glucose are bothC[sub]6[/sub]H[sub]12[/sub]O[sub]6[/sub] Very little difference.

Our own Qadgop the Mercotan, M.D. has posted several times on this issue. Sadly, in almost four years I’ve never learned how to link to a specific post, but look for his posts in the following threads (several in each - don’t stop at the first!):

here, and

Let’s say you drink one big glass of juice (16oz) during each meal. From DDG’s cite, that would be 4-6 medium fruits per glass.

Imagine, in addition to your normal food intake, eating 4 apples at every meal, you’d burst! With the juice, you get most of the calories of the fruit itself, and just add it to the food you eat. It’s too many calories for the nutrition you get. You’d do the same if you ate one of the apples and drank soda.

Replacing water with juice is an easy way to get way too many calories.

Wow, thanks for those links, Oxy. (almost shortened your name the other way … oops). And thanks to the ever-obliging QtM for repeating himself over and over again on the same subject !

I guess I am reluctantly convinced that fruit juice isn’t really that good for you (even the unsweetened kind). I will, however, continue to drink it, at least until the diabetes sets in.