Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The defence of juice



I find the ability of people to rationalise things astounding. We all do it in some manner in our lives. But it still amazes me to see people staunchly defending illogical stances. Take for example juice.

I’m not opposed to juice per se. I grew up during a time when orange juice was a standard at breakfast. I drank juice boxes at school. Juice wasn’t the nutritional pariah it’s become. Of course, we now know that juice is essentially liquid sugar, with a few vitamins thrown in for good measure. Drinking a glass of apple juice is nowhere near as nutritious as eating an actual apple. I would never recommend that someone consume more juice but if you’re enjoying a glass of juice a day, or an occasional glass of juice, it’s the same as any other sweet treat and I’m not going to take that away.

What I don’t get are the people who say that juice contains “naturally occurring” sugar so it’s somehow healthier than any other food containing “unnaturally occurring” sugar. Nope. Not buying it. Sugar is sugar. This is not demonizing sugar. This is not demonizing juice. It’s just a fact. Where do people think that refined and added sugars come from? They’re not made from chemicals in a lab. They’re made by processing plants that naturally contain sugar. There’s nothing nutritionally superior about the sugar in juice. It’s no better (or worse) for you than the sugar in a handful of jujubes.

Let’s stop sugarcoating juice and face the facts. Juice is liquid sugar with better PR than other sugary beverages.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

5 thoughts on “The defence of juice

  1. I’ve heard from many different people that not all sugars are the same:
    – maple syrup and honey are the best and safe for diabetics (?!)
    – sugar in fruits are OK which is why juice is better than pop
    – cane sugar and corn syrup are the worse and should be avoided at all costs
    – If you use raw cane sugar it is better than granulated, but it is still bad
    – A tea shop I go to pushes rock sugar from beats because it is healthier than granulated and supposedly doesn’t alter the taste of the tea.

    My radar is saying this all baloney because I’ve always thought sugar is sugar is sugar. I’m glad to see your post about this. It helps cut through all the misinformation out there.


    • Thanks Karen. While there may be minuscule benefits of less refined sugars over white sugar, for the most part your body doesn’t distinguish between them. Your inclination is correct.


  2. I completely agree with you, especially the amount of preservatives go into it. There is no comparison to fruit fibers than preparing home-made juices too. Sometimes we do have to add sugar to cut down sour taste. Thank you for spreading the word. Cheers.


  3. Haha, sugarcoating. Not so sneaky puns :D


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