Food and Nutrition

Fruit Juice- An exposé

Tanuja Sodhi
All age groups

Created by Tanuja Sodhi
Updated on May 15, 2013

Fruit Juice An expos

There is a huge emotional attachment that most of us have for fruit juice. The mention of the words ‘fruit juice’ conjures up an image of a glass full of health and thus, we encourage our little ones to guzzle down fruit juice to lap up all the so-called ‘nutrition-laden’ calories. 

Case against fruit juice

             While fruit juices are very popular amongst young and old alike for their taste and touted health benefits, many claims made by ‘juicing proponents’ (juice companies) are simply far-fetched. Fruit juice deserves censure for the following reasons:

1. Juice lacks fibre and other nutrients of a whole fruit. By eating whole fruit, you not only get the juice, but also the goodness of its flesh that provides fibre. Fibre provides many health benefits such as maintaining a healthy digestive system by preventing constipation, controlling unruly appetites, aiding in the absorption of nutrients, boosting colon health and lowering cholesterol. 

2. Juices are higher in calories as against fresh fruit. You need to use up a number of fruit pieces to extract even a small cup of juice. So, satiation by drinking juice comes at a high calorific cost which can easily lead to excessive energy intake and weight gain.

3. Tooth erosion and decay could occur if juice is had regularly, as the vitamin C in fruit together with its concentrated natural sugars, makes the juice highly acidic. 

4. Deionization process strips juice of its many nutrients. To maintain the quality of juice and extend its life, manufacturers use a common manufacturing process called “deionization”. It works by stripping away the colors and flavors to produce a clear product that lasts longer. Different flavors and colors are then added back into the juice to produce a desired product. A downside of this process is that it makes the end product nutritionally inferior to its fresh unprocessed variety. 

5. Weight gain leading to obesity: Children can easily drink a lot of juice because juice tastes good. However, too much juice a day can contribute to obesity. 

6. Fruit juice calories are not very filling, so they can easily increase your child’s overall caloric intake. It is quite easy to over-consume fruits in liquid form which is high on sugar.

 Therefore, fortifying a child’s diet up on vitamins and minerals in this way isn’t the ideal one. It is better to get these nutrients from the fruit itself with its power-packed goodness.

Juicy Recommendations

While it’s a given that fruit scores high above its liquid form nutritionally, drinking moderate amounts of freshly squeezed unsweetened fruit juice cannot be considered a glaring nutritional sin. Parents can offer age-appropriate servings of juice, but make sure that whole fruit remains an integral part of your child’s diet.

Some caveats while serving juice: 

1. Serve fruit juice only with a snack or a meal, rather than allowing your child to sip juice throughout the day to avoid acidity and tooth decay.

2. If you're having trouble getting your child to eat, don't allow him or her to drink any liquids 30 minutes before meals or snacks.

3. To ensure that your child isn't drinking too much juice, follow these limits: 

  • Birth to 6 months: No fruit juice 
  • 6 months to 6 years: ½ cup to ¾ cup a day.
  • 7 years and older: 1 cup to 1½ cups a day.

While the ideal diet nutritional mantra according to me would be- “don’t drink your calories”, exercise in moderation if the liquid calories seem too irresistible to ignore!

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| Oct 16, 2017

what juice can i give to 8 months old baby

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| Jun 05, 2015

good to know that v should give something as snacks with juices. nd true v shouldn't gv tetra packed juices as they r very harmful

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| Jun 01, 2015

Great article indeed...

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| Aug 09, 2013

Yup... That is true... A whole fruit is always better than the juices...

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| Jun 12, 2013

To add up to the richness of fruits you can also make smoothies..... especially with berries.

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| Jun 06, 2013

Very useful article. Also if at all you serve the juice, make sure it is freshly prepared to gain maximum benefit. The moment you juice a fruit or vegetable, it starts to oxidize. You just exposed all that juice, once safely protected by rind or skin, to the air! Air and juice don’t mix! Even in a refrigerator. So don’t juice it unless you can drink it almost immediately. If you have to , you can drink it maybe 45 minutes or a little more later. You will notice that it tastes a lot better right out of the juicer - before oxidation not only destroys a lot of the nutrition, but the taste as well.

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| Jun 01, 2013

As Ishta has rightly said, an occasional cup of home-squeezed juice is a better option than packaged juices. But there is nothing to beat the nutrients in a whole fruit.

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| May 31, 2013

home made juices r always a far better option then packeged ones. Stil it cannot compete with whole fruit on any grounds.

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| May 30, 2013

Can home made juice be given rather than packed ones?

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| May 30, 2013

This bit of info is definitely an eyeopener to many. Undoubtedly, not jus give our kids but v too intake excessive quantities of fruit juices, natural or processed,unknowingly which definitely interrupt wd our system.. thanks Tanuja for sharing all of that .

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| May 21, 2013

Thanks for sharing your analysis. I agree too. Reading up the nutritive info on those shiny Tetrapacks further unveils that "No preservatives" is just a technically modified gimmick. The packaged juice manuf also add artifical sugars, over and above the natural fruit sugar. Milk (just cold, and in other derivatives, included with cereal)and homemade options like lemonade (and its variants with jeera, mint) are better options. Carefully washed fruits, should be eaten raw, to have their best.

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| May 20, 2013

something I have always wanted to know,thanks.. !

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| May 16, 2013

An expose indeed! All parents should know these facts. Thank you Tanuja!

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| May 15, 2013

Mostly parents tend to give juice as an alternative for food if d child resists to have it. Juices can never be solution rather these lead to a problem itself if not consumed in moderate quantities by any age group espc kids. Fresh juices could pose a serious health problem if one fails to check d hygiene n d quality of materials used. During summers sugarcane juice is a hit amongst all age grps bcos of its taste n rejuvenating feeling. But wat most ppl don't know is it can lead to diarrhea n other serious health related problems. So wat pleases eye n tongue might not be pleasing to one's health. I completely agree with TAnuja that parents need to follow these recommendations while giving juices to their children.

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