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What You Need To Know About Fruit Juices

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I’m NOT a big fan of drinking commercial fruit juices. This confuses some people however because I am a very big proponent of eating fruit.

I really do believe that fresh fruit is probably the MOST beneficial food you can consume.

The whole “fruit can make you fat” idea is a totally taken out of concept. Let me make sure I’m perfectly clear on this so you get it. Fruit does NOT make you fat. Eating fruit on top of starches however can most certainly lead to excess blood glucose and result in fat storage.

We get caught up thinking fruit has sugar, which it does mostly in the form of glucose and fructose, but it’s easily assimilated and used for energy when eaten by itself or with proteins and fats.

A lot of people don’t know this but the natural fructose found in fruits can be assimilated directly into the cells through a process of diffusion. Your body thrives off of fruit, not just due to the easy to assimilate sugar, but also because of the phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Nobody ever got fat from eating too many oranges for example. But you’ll see a lot of diet plans where fruits are removed or heavily restricted. I don’t advocate such strategies because the benefit to your overall health from eating fruit is far too important.

What I do advocate though are strategies like a Primal Blueprint diet where starches and whole grains are removed or heavily restricted. In this case, fruits can play a very valuable role in your diet and won’t contribute to insulin sensitivity problems.

In fact, one of the best things you can to to improve low insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance is to consume a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables. The reason is simple.

Insulin sensitivity issues are the result of weak and degenerated adrenal glands. If you want to fix the problem with weak glands you heal and regenerate the tissue. How do you do this? With foods like fresh fruits and vegetables that repair and rebuild at the cellular level.

This is a whole subject in itself so let’s stay on course with this discussion.

In a nutshell, my position on fruits is as follows:

Fruits eaten by themselves or with proteins and/or fats = Good.

Fruits eaten with starches and/or whole grains = Bad.

But what about fruit juices?

Once again this is a “it depends” question.

The first thing we need to identify is what kind of fruit juices are we consuming?

As a general rule you should avoid commercial fruit juices. Unless you’re juicing fresh fruit on your own, you’ll want to avoid drinking fruit juices.

The commercially manufactured fruit juices often contain added sucrose (table sugar) or artificial sweeteners. They’re pitched by the fruit juice manufacturers to be “healthy” but they’re far from it.

Avoid even the so called “all natural” fruit juices because you’re losing a lot of the enzymes and phytonutrients that are found when fruits are juiced on the spot.

A lot of drink manufacturers will use a process of pasteurization to heat the fruit juice (as a way to destroy pathogens, bacteria, etc), but the heating process destroys most of the enzymes and a lot of the phytonutrients.

Benefits of making your own fruit juices…

If you’re going to drink “fruit juice” the way to do it is to buy your own fresh fruit and juice it yourself. I frequently do fruit and or fruit/veggie juices in the morning with my Breville juicer.

It’s one of the best juicers I’ve found because of the powerful motor and the wide feeding tube which gives you the ability to juice whole apples for example without cutting them up.

Fruit and/or fruit and veggie juices are a great way to start your day because your body is going through a natural process of elimination. You can assist your body in the morning with the elimination of toxins and metabolic waste by drinking fresh juices.

I’ll either do the fruit/veggie juice by itself or combine with some scrambled eggs or other easy to assimilate protein.

You’ll notice what I’m not doing is combining the juices with bread, oatmeal, or other starches. This would cause an overload in blood glucose levels and result in an insulin response.

The danger of fruit juices replacing sodas in our schools

We’ve seen a big push in recent years with soft drink manufacturers getting into the fruit juice business. They’re running under the guise of creating “healthier” choices for children.

On the surface it looks like they’re doing a positive thing to help offset childhood and adolescent obesity, but are they really?

After all it’s hard to argue against fewer soft-drinks in vending machines. Make no mistakes about it, this is big business and the drink manufacturers see an opportunity to cash in.

There’s a lot of public pressure on providing healthier choices for our children and the writing is on the wall for soft-drinks. They know they’re going to increasingly see more push-back on sodas in school vending machines so they’ve simply found an alternative that can be brought in with the “healthy” label.

Personally, I’d like to see bottled water only in those vending machines but that’s probably not going to happen. The best thing I can do is help to inform the masses on the “not so healthy side” of fruit juices.

Putting fruit juices in school vending machines will NOT help solve our obesity epidemic. You can put me on record for saying that right here and now.

I was recently contacted through email by an associate who had an interesting info-graphic from healthscience.net on the dangers of fruit juices. I wanted to share that graphic in this blog post as it will show you exactly what I’m talking about.

You be the judge for yourself. The best thing we can do for our own health and that of our children is to focus on consuming food in its natural state. The further we stray from this principal the worse it is for our health. I’ve found few exceptions to this rule.

Here’s the graphic.

Soda's Evil Twin
Created by: Health Science

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides fitness consulting in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. You can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session personal training trial and consultation to experience the difference for yourself.

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Category: Nutrition.