Just a few years ago juice was regularly in my family’s diet. Most of the time it was organic, but not always. I gave my oldest son (who is now 4.5 yrs) juice daily. He was about 1 when I began giving him juice. I actually thought that I was a pretty healthy mom. Boy was I wrong! Juice is not “healthy”.
Juice and soda contain about the same amount of sugar. They are technically different sugars, but the body treats them the same. One of the biggest problems with sweet things is that kids don’t know when to stop. My kids have no portion control. If we had a gallon of orange juice (even freshly squeezed) in the fridge it would last maybe last 4-5 days. That amount of extra sugar (fructose) is not good for growing children and adolescents. It is not great for anyone – even adults. Since going off the no sugar challenge I feel the immediate effects of sugar whenever I eat too much sugar. It is not a good feeling ~ it is usually joint pain, dizziness, feeling off, and tired. I can even feel nauseous and I run to the fridge to grab some protein (usually a glass of raw milk resets me).
Whole fruit is very good for children in moderate amounts, it is full of fiber and micro-nutrients. When the sugar in fruit is concentrated in juice, the sugar levels can become very high and unhealthy. Drinking too much juice can lead to tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Juice made with high fructose corn syrup (usually non organic) is even worse for your child’s health, “If your child is drinking a lot of juice drink, she’s getting a lot of empty calories, sugar and little or no viable nutrition. Fructose may sound harmless, but this plant-based sugar is very sweet. And when it’s combined with glucose to form the inexpensive high-fructose corn syrup, the new mixture packs a glycemic load of at least 65. Glycemic load refers to how quickly your bloodstream absorbs a food. In contrast, fructose’s glycemic load is just 19 (juice made w/o high fructose corn syrup). If your child has a short-lived sugar high after drinking fruit drink, it just may be the high-fructose corn syrup.”
Read more here.
Low Glycemic Index ~ less than 55 (juice made w/ fruit sugar)
Medium Glycemic Index~ (55-69)
High Glycemic Index~ more than 70 (juice made w/ high fructose corn syrup)
So the sugar part is bad enough, and then the Doctor Oz show uncovers another toxic issue with juice (this was awhile back). ”It found 10% of apple juice and grape juice samples had total arsenic levels above the drinking water standard of 10 parts per billion. Consumer Reports also found that the majority of the arsenic in the tested juice was inorganic, the kind to cause cancer.” This is not good. Why is arsenic so bad? Here are some reasons.
~it disrupts the cellular process that produces ATP, the molecule in charge of transporting energy throughout your body’s cells so they can perform the tasks that keep you alive
~it blocks and competes with the chemicals that form ATP, leaving your body well short of what it takes to keep up even the most basic cellular processes
~it messes with the ATP pathway and can disturb neurological and cardiovascular systems, and can make it difficult for muscles to fire
~it can eventually cause multi-system organ failure, most likely driven by cell death and hemorrhaging
I am sure you would have to drink A LOT of juice laced with arsenic to have a heavy toxic burden in your body, but this apple juice is being fed to babies. Little people that are small and do not weigh very much. You may need a lot of arsenic to affect an adult, but what studies have been done on children? There are so many developmental delays these days. What if high arsenic levels fall into one of these categories. Sounds like one of the many symptoms of ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, and Autism. Neurological disorders pretty much fall into all of the developmental delays now a days. I think we should be routinely checking our kids blood for all toxic chemicals and metals (like lead is routinely tested). I know testing can be very costly. So for now, skip the apple juice and maybe all the juice (except special occasions).
If you are still undecided on the juice thing… here is one more go at it. ”American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer. After testing dozens of samples from three different cities in America, Dr. Oz discovered that some of the nation’s best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic.” Again from Dr. OZ.
I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to be eating or drinking food from China. They have VERY LOOSE food safety regulations (if any at all). Hmmm…. wonder why big corporations are outsourcing to china for foods and beverages? Maybe because they are super cheap, so I guess that make sense then. The whole arsenic debacle. Buy local, not from CHINA….especially when it comes to food and beverages.
So save the Strawberry Lemonade for a special occasion, and if you do drink juice ~try to make it yourself. You’ll end up drinking it a lot less. When my son now asks me for juice, and he occasionally does, I say “Ok. I am going to get you an apple. There is a lot of juice in that apple. Each time you take a bit you get A LOT of juice.” That makes it a fun adventure.
Make healthy choices fun for kids!
~Green Boot Girl