Many schools have replaced pop with juice in their vending machines. Many parents encourage their kids to drink juice. After all juice is the healthier choice. But sadly it is not.
Fruit juice has as much sugar as most soft drinks. Worse the “sugar” in juice is Fructose and we can only absorb about 25 grams of Fructose. The rest goes to the liver to be converted into fat and also creates many other problems.
It appears we can absorb, at any one time, up to 25 grams of fructose. Now what is 25 grams? A glass of orange juice has up to 14 grams of fructose, a can of Coke sometimes has 15 to 16 grams of fructose, so you have a rough idea of how much 25 grams is. If you exceed that amount at any one time, individuals with limited fructose absorptive capacity can not absorb this substance and can get symptoms.
What are the symptoms of fructose intolerance?
The usual symptoms are bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, constipation–indigestion and sometimes excessive belching. These are common symptoms that a number of patients with this condition describe. (Source)
It is best that we avoid juice altogther. Here also is a useful table that shows us how much fructose is in fruit itself. Again keep the 25 grams threshold in mind:
Source Richard Johnson
Many might say “We have always eaten fruit!”. True but remember the conditions under which we ate it. Wild fruit is not sweet compared to modern fruit. Ever had a wild apple? Almost inedible. Apples were all converted to cider for thousands of years. We would have also had to compete with all the birds and insects. I almost never get more than a few cherries off my tree even today.
Fruit would have been hard work and transitory. Without a global food system it still would be. No oranges in Canada and no bananas. People my age still remember getting an orange in their stocking – it was such a treat back in the day.
So what do you drink when you are not drinking alcohol? We drank alcohol from the beginning as it enabled us to keep the fruit and also eat fruit that we could not eat on its own because it was too bitter (The apple again) Why not water? Why do our kids have to drink sugar?