Know For Yourself: Packaged Juice

Hi friends! Happy Friday!!

As I promised last week, I am starting my series of “Know For Yourself”. I hope to share my research and knowledge with you in this series, as far as the false health and nutrition claims made by various brands…by blatant lying or by omission of real facts, are concerned. The marketing and advertising by these brands leave much to be desired, least of all the truth!

We have a right to have all the facts in front of us, pleasant and unpleasant and we should have a right to decide what we want to do then. At least, the consequences are our own responsibility that way!

The consequence of you joining me on Instagram wouldn’t be bad, I promise. I will keep you updated and motivated, I promise!

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Today I am going to tell you how healthy (or not) is packaged juice for us.

We hear fruits, we translate it into healthy in our minds…anything with fruits in it, is healthy in our perception! We are trained like that, aren’t we?

It is true though!! Fruits are healthy. As long as we eat them fresh and whole…with peel, if the peel is edible! Don’t miss this previous post on the benefits of eating your apple with peel intact and how to remove the pesticides etc. before consuming it, too!

Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, fruits are great source for all things good and though high in fructose sugar, the good parts negate the sugar part quite effectively if we consume fresh and whole fruits!

When you eat fibers along with your fruit, the fiber binds the natural sugar and this makes the body absorb the sugar much slower, avoiding spikes in blood-glucose levels.

If you are not sure what fiber is good for, stay tuned in for the post, in coming weeks 😊

What About Freshly Squeezed Juice?

Fruit juice that is freshly squeezed, with some pulp retained, can still be alright as it retains many vitamins and minerals. However, since all the fiber is lost, best to consume in moderation, not more than a glass a day to avoid consuming extra sugar (fructose) and calories!

In terms of sugar content, freshly squeezed vegetable juices are a better option however, still best to eat your veggies also whole!

And Packaged Juice?

Ah! I will let you decide on your own. Let me first tell you how packaged juices are manufactured.

If you have ever had packaged juices-let’s say orange or mango juice, you would agree that every sip tastes just the same: yummy…and exactly the same as you probably had a few months back! Now, eat two oranges/mangoes on the same day. Did they both taste the same? I bet they didn’t.

How is it possible that two oranges do not taste same even if from the same seasonal harvest and the packaged orange juice taste just the same, whenever you pour from a carton? All round the year! Year after year.

The Process

Most packaged juices are made of fruit juice concentrates (the %age might vary), artificial colors/flavors, sweeteners and preservatives, one way or the other!

The packaged juice is highly processed and during the heat treatments for pasteurization/sterilization (an essential part of the packaging process), the beneficial nutrients are lost. Now, during this heat process, the taste is lost too and to add the taste back, additional flavors are added. These can be artificial or nature-identical flavors or can also be made from the dried fruit source. And this is why ladies and gentlemen, it tastes just the same, carton after carton, year after year.

Your juice says, no preservatives added!

Sure, only because it has gone through a specific process called de-oxidation where the oxygen is removed from the juice and its environment, to increase the shelf-life. In this process, the nutrients are lost too.

My Juice Has Pulp In It? Pulp is Fiber, Isn’t it? That’s Good, Right!

Check the label. Do the nutritional values mention the fiber and its percentage? No, then it’s just some added pulp and it has nothing to do with fiber.

A Test For You

So, there is a small pack of Tropicana mango juice, a Real mango juice and a Frooti, which one would you choose for yourself or for your kid?

Have a look at the table below if you are not sure and decide for yourself. At least, you know what you are eating/drinking.

Our best option is to eat our fruits and vegetables fresh, with peels whenever possible. If we want to juice, best do it ourselves at home and consume fresh. If you are consuming packaged juices, enjoy them as any other beverage, without any nutritional expectations!!

Another option is to try expensive cold-pressed packaged juice, with much smaller shelf-lives, no preservatives and more nutrition preserved, including better fiber content. However, on sugar front, I have not found a huge difference.

If you liked today’s post, do share with your family and friends. Do join me on Instagram and stay tuned for more.

XOXO

Hugs, Health and Peace

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