Scientists say fruit juices as bad as sugary drinks

Juice may not be as healthy as people think. Researchers from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow in Scotland say fruit juices actually are packed with sugar, making them possibly as bad for the body as soda.

In the journal T_he Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology_, the researchers encouraged the U.K. government to alter the “five a day” nutrition guidelines by removing fruit juices from the fruit and vegetable category because it misleads consumers into thinking fruit juice is healthy. They also recommended labels on juices should say people shouldn’t drink more than 150 ml of juice a day.

How similar is juice to soda? One researcher says 250 ml of apple juice has 26g of sugar and 250 ml of soda has 26.5g of sugar. Additionally, fruit juice lacks the fiber naturally found in regular fruit. Despite the vitamins and minerals found in the juices, the amount of sugar and calories they have may do more harm than good, says the researcher.

A three-month trial where participants drank grape juice every day resulted in larger waist sizes and increased resistance to insulin in heavier adults, despite the antioxidant benefits of grapes.

The researchers also reported that consumers’ perspectives on fruit juices are skewed. A poll of 2,000 individuals asking people to look at pictures of beverages and estimate the amount of sugar they contain revealed that people underestimated the sugar content in juices and smoothies by 48 percent and overestimated the sugar content in soda by 12 percent.

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