Sweet stuff

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I like to read stuff about food and drink to check trends in what is being eaten, by whom, where, why etc. and while I wouldn’t describe myself as a nutritionist, certainly not a professional one, I do have some (diploma) qualifications in nutrition that enable me to comment confidently on what I see, read or do in respect of food and drink.

The headline of an article published in the NY Times yesterday caught my attention so I had to read it.


Seriously, Juice Is Not Healthy

By Erika R. Cheng, Lauren G. Fiechtner and Aaron E. Carroll

The writers are professors of pediatrics.

It was the headline that prompted me to read the article. Although it had the desired effect in calling my attention, the headline was clearly WRONG and therefore misleading! Juice IS healthy and should be part of anyone’s diet (unless there are medical reasons not to drink juice or eat fruit).

There is a huge unwritten caveat in the article, one that should have been highlighted at the beginning. One that is probably needed in countries where all foods and drinks are bought in supermarkets! Pre-packed industrially-produced juices are not healthy.

The simple fact is that if one buys fruit and puts it in a squeezer or blender with water then the resulting juice IS healthy. The nutrients are there. If sugar is added (as in the case of the majority of packaged juices) then the health benefits are undermined.

Fruit contains sugar. There is no need to add more sugar. The problem is that so many people have become addicted to sugar from an early age that they feel a need to add sugar to juices … and even to savoury sauces. It is simply NOT necessary to add sugar to anything.

The global sugar trade is growing and is worth trillions. Clearly, not all sugar is destined for the dining table but it is, nonetheless, a staggeringly huge business.

The packaging of industrialised fruit juices, in many countries, will indicate the content of the product – especially added flavours, colourings etc. It makes sense to read the label of anything bought from a supermarket but many people do not have the time or knowledge to understand the meaning of these labels.

So, an article that tells people that juice is not healthy is misleading AND counterproductive … “experts” should be trying to educate and encourage people to make good, healthy choices. Now some readers will believe that fruit juice is not healthy!! It is.

Drink natural fruit juice – with no added sugar or sweeteners!!


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