OR ELSE!
THE FACTS ON FRUIT JUICE AND SUGAR

Hooked on Juice

EVEN WITH NO SUGAR ADDED, FRUIT JUICE HAS THE SAME AMOUNT
OF SUGAR AS SODA. WHY? BECAUSE FRUIT IS FULL OF SUGAR!

Liquid candy ... yumm!!
 



The graphics on this site, all from the early 1950s, were painted by Pete Hawley and can be seen at Plan59.com.


 

LINKS YOU WILL ENJOY
--------------------------
PLAN59.COM
PATENTROOM.COM
SCREENMATH.COM
ADVENTURELOUNGE

   
ABOUT THIS SITE. Who is behind Hooked on Juice? Dave Hall in Virginia. Not the soda industry, not some big advocacy organization. Just me. I’m an editor at a newspaper that not too long ago published an article on the controversy over vending machines in schools and how parents want to get rid of soft drinks and replace them with “natural” beverages like fruit juice — but only “healthy” fruit juice, meaning juice with no sugar added. Unfortunately the article failed to point out that 100 percent fruit juice (orange, apple etc.), even with no sugar added, has just as much sugar (and just as many calories) as Coke or Pepsi! Duh. Anyway, I graduated from the University of Florida in 1986 with degrees in chemistry and journalism. E-mail me here.

JUST WHAT IS THE SUGAR CONTENT OF FRUIT JUICE? We’ll use orange, apple, cherry and grape juice as examples. Even with no sugar added, fruit juice contains about the same amount of sugar as the same amount of soft drink. Because apples, oranges and grapes are naturally full of sugar. (No surprise there: Processed sugar comes from plants, usually corn or sugar cane or sugar beets.) The table below compares the sugar in 12 ounces of juice (no sugar added) with 12 ounces (one can) of Coca-Cola. If you look at the nutrition label on a can of Coke or fruit juice, the “carbohydrate” is mostly sugar. Four grams of sugar carbs equal approximately 1 teaspoon of sugar.

12 ounces of >>>>>>>  Coca-Cola Orange Juice Apple Juice Cherry Juice Grape Juice
Total carbohydrates 40 g 39 g 42 g 49.5 g 60 g
Carbs from sugar 40 g 33 g 39 g 37.5 g 58.5 g
Sugar (teaspoons) 10 tsp 8 tsp 10 tsp 9 tsp 15 tsp
Calories 145 165 165 210 240

WHAT DOES THE CHART TELL US? It tells us that no matter which juice you choose, they all have more calories than the same amount of Coke. It tells us that juice — 100 percent juice, no sugar added — contains about the same amount of sugar (or even more — 50 percent more for grape juice) as the same volume of Coke. For this comparison we used: Classic Coke, Tropicana HomeStyle Orange Juice, Walnut Acres Organic 100 Percent Apple Juice, Eden Organic Montmorency Cherry Juice (no sweetener added) and R.W. Knudsen Unsweetened Concord Grape Juice. The numbers in the chart were calculated from the nutrition labels on the containers.

WHETHER FRUIT JUICE is “100 percent juice” or not is almost beside the point — both kinds are loaded with sugar and calories. If it’s “100 percent juice” the sugar is from the fructose that’s naturally present in fruit; if it’s “10 percent juice” (or 20 percent, or whatever), most of the sugar is in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Snacking on sugary beverages all day long, whether they’re soft drinks or fruit juice, is not a good thing, for kids or adults. Over-consumption of sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes. Some common-sense alternatives:

  Instead of sucking down liquid candy all day long in the form of soda and fruit juice, drink water. Is there a place for fruit juice? Of course there is — and it used to be called the breakfast table. Way back in the day, fruit juice (usually orange or grapefruit or tomato) was regarded as something of a treat. You’d have a little four- or six-ounce glass with your coffee and cereal or eggs. If you were in a restaurant, your juice glass might even come to the table nested in a bowl of ice. But then the fruit-packing industry got into the act, first with the slogan “drink a full big glass” (see illustrations on this page), and then with “orange juice — it’s not just for breakfast anymore.” Before you knew it we were chugging OJ like it was water, 24/7. (And of course fruit juice is mostly water — but it’s sugar water.) First sippy cups, then “juice boxes” — no wonder kids are hooked on fructose.

•  At school: Drink water. Once upon a time (when I was in elementary school), when we kids got thirsty, they lined us up at the water fountain. And in junior high and high school it was  . . .  the water fountain.

•  “Flavored water.” Since we don’t want the beverage and vending industries to go out of business.

•  Got milk? Have a glass. There are 18 grams (a little over 4 teaspoons) of sugar (lactose) in 12 ounces of milk.

•  Diet soda! Certainly better than swigging fruit juice or regular soda pop all day long.

FURTHER READING. Some links of special interest, as well as special interests.

•  FruitJuiceFacts.org — Web site of the Juice Products Association, an industry lobbying group.
Funded in part by Tropicana and Coca-Cola (which owns the Minute Maid juice brand, among others).

•  Sugar Shocker education resource kit (PDF) from Capital Health, a Canadian public-sector health organization associated with the University of Alberta.

•  Stop the Pop resource kit (PDF) published by the Missouri Dental Association.

•  Soft drink nutrition information published by Coca-Cola (tabular PDF).

•  Liquid Candy — How Soft Drinks Are Harming America’s Health. Center for Science in the Public Interest.

•  Liquid Candy Highlights — Highlights of the report. Center for Science in the Public Interest.

•  Counting Calories in Drinks, Juices and Beverages — The Diet Bites Web site.


COMING SOON: THE HOJ BLOG,
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COPYRIGHT 2006 HOOKEDONJUICE.COM • UPDATED OCTOBER 2, 2006