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Is Fruit Juice any good?

Posted on12 Jul 2019
"Many in Singapore are turning to drinking fruit juices as a healthier alternative to soft drinks. But tests CNA conducted with the help of experts at Temasek Polytechnic showed that juices are not necessarily the healthier choice. Whether fresh, cold-pressed or pre-packaged, they could contain as much if not more sugar than a can of soft drink. The tests showed that there is more sugar in a 300 ml cup of freshly prepared red apple juice compared to a 320 ml can of soft drink."

"The juicing process would strip away dietary fibres. Some of the vitamins and minerals present in whole fruits would also be lost. And since more than one fruit would typically be needed to make a glass of juice, the amount of sugar in the juice will also be higher compared to eating a single fruit." Dr Kalpana, who is also the vice-president of Diabetes Singapore, cautioned that people should be mindful of the amount of carbohydrates and sugar they are consuming.

“We should not forget that fruit juices are a concentrated source of sugar. People are better off eating the fruit,” she said. That way, people won't lose the fibre, they can control the calorie intake and can feel more full from chewing on the fruit." "Using a medium-sized red apple weighing 130g as an example, Dr Kalpana said eating it provides 15g of carbohydrates, mostly from naturally occurring sugars such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose. But based on the experiment, 40.2g of sugar could be consumed when drinking a 300ml cup of apple juice.

In fact, stripping the fibre off the fruits through the juicing process is not just bad for the bowels. "Without the fibre, the large amount of sugar from fruit juices enters the bloodstream quickly and causes a sugar spike, similar to what happens when we drink sweetened drinks like sodas," a spokesperson said. Over time, this wears out the pancreas, which produces insulin, and can lead to weight gain and diabetes, she added.

“Many people may think that naturally occurring sugar is healthier than added sugar, but there is no chemical difference between the two, and they have the same impact on blood sugar level when ingested,” the HPB spokesperson said. For this reason, HPB said that consuming fresh fruit juices is no different from drinking pre-packaged juices.

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