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It may come as a surprise that your carton of 100% pure, not from concentrate orange juice is nowhere near akin to sticking a straw in an orange and taking a sip.
Many popular orange juice brands have to be chemically altered using ethyl butyrate -- a compound that’s added to perfume as well as orange juice -- in order to make it taste and smell like oranges!
Further, many commercial orange juices are contaminated with mold from damaged fruit that is processed. So if you drink commercial orange juice regularly you will be exposed to these mold toxins.
You know you are buying a heavily processed juice if the “Best Before” date is 60 or more days in the future. Real fresh-squeezed orange juice will only last for a few days.
So if you simply must have orange juice, squeezing your own at home would be about the only way to get the real thing.
But drinking orange juice, whether fresh-squeezed or not, is not as healthy as it sounds. In fact, orange juice is actually one of the top five “health” foods I recommend avoiding.
Many people start their day off with a glass of orange juice, typically thinking the vitamin C and other nutrients it contains are a smart and healthy choice.
But a glass of juice, whether fresh-squeezed or not, has about eight full teaspoons of sugar per eight-ounce glass! This is nearly as much sugar as is in a can of soda (one can typically has 10 teaspoons of sugar).
When the sugar is combined in its natural form in the whole fruit it causes far less of a problem as the fiber tends to slow its absorption and prevents over consumption.
But process the fruit sugar out of the fruit and remove the fiber and you have an entirely different setup.
The sugar in orange juice is typically a fruit sugar called fructose, which many mistakenly believe is a “healthy” form of sugar. But fructose is every bit as dangerous as regular table sugar since it will also cause a major increase in your insulin levels.
You should certainly be aware of the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, well please understand that simple fruit sugar extracted from fruit has virtually identical side effects and negative effects on your biochemistry.
The starch-derived (corn) fructose used to sweeten soft drinks and all kinds of processed foods is refined, man-made and metabolically different than the natural kind already in fruit. That's why your body converts the starch-derived fructose in processed foods to brown adipose tissue and trigylcerides that contribute to diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
On the other hand, fruit fructose, along with all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, water, other mono-, di- and olgio-saccharides and fiber found in fruit, are converted to blood glucose.
This does not mean it is “healthy,” however, because it will cause a major spike in your insulin levels. This is important because elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight gain.
This may be why drinking fruit juice has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, while fructose itself has been shown to increase your triglyceride levels. In one previous study, eating fructose raised triglyceride levels by 32 percent in men.
Triglycerides, the chemical form of fat found in foods and in your body, are not something you want in excess amounts. Forty years worth of research has confirmed that elevated blood levels of triglycerides, known as hypertriglyceridemia, puts you at an increased risk of heart disease.
If you love orange juice, a healthier choice would be to eat a fresh orange rather than drink the juice.
If you are overweight, have diabetes or high blood pressure, however, you are best off avoiding fruits or limiting them to a small handful of berries a day. If you are currently healthy, a small amount of fruit should not be a problem as long as you follow the guidelines of your nutritional type.
Is a glass of orange juice part of your daily routine? Here's a practical tip for weaning yourself off it, or at least keeping your consumption to a minimum: DILUTE the juice with water or sparkling water. You can start slowly by diluting it slightly and then keep increasing the water content over time.
This tip works great for kids, too, and you’ll be doing them a favor by having them fill up on healthy fresh fruits and vegetables instead of on a glass of fruit juice.