Fruits contain sugar fructose naturally and adding table sugar to fruit juice makes it equivalent to a carbonated beverage, except that the juice may contain a few nutrients whereas a cola provides no value.
By Kejal Sheth
Does your kid start the day by having fresh fruit juice? Or worse, a canned one? If the answer is yes, then you must stop now. Fruit juice can hinder a healthy lifestyle as it has many detrimental effects on your body. Here are some reasons why.
* Fruit juice contains less amounts of fibre and more sugar content. Fruits, on the other hand, contain all the vitamins and minerals needed for maintaining good health.
* Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit for infants and children. It has no essential role to play in a healthy and balanced diet for children.
* Added sugar (glucose) in fruit juice increases the caloric value. Besides, added sugar and less fibre in fruit juice also increase its GI (Glycemic Index), thus raising the blood sugar rapidly.
* The fibre in whole fruits helps children feel fuller and satiated.
* Excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition (over or under-nutrition).
* Excessive juice consumption is associated with abdominal distention and tooth decay.
* Calcium-fortified juices provide a bioavailable source of calcium and often vitamin D, but lack other nutrients present in human milk, infant formula, or cow milk.
* Fruits contain sugar fructose naturally and adding table sugar to fruit juice makes it equivalent to a carbonated beverage, except that the juice may contain a few nutrients whereas a cola, as an empty caloric beverage, provides no value.
Consider these healthy swaps for fruit juice:
* Vegetable juice can be a healthier swap for fruit juice as the fibre content is not reduced and it also provides sufficient nutrients.
* If the child does not have a habit of consuming whole vegetables in their daily diet, vegetable juice can be a good option which will provide the essential nutrients.
* A mixture of fruit and vegetable juice can also be given. For example, the ABC or Apple Beetroot Carrot juice.
One hundred percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be consumed by children older than a year, when it’s part of a well-balanced diet. Fruit drinks, however, are not nutritionally equivalent to fruit juice.
Opt for whole fruits, smoothies, fruit-infused water, fruit popsicles and fruit dipped in dark chocolate over fruit juices, fruit milkshakes and ice-creams.
(Kejal Sheth is a nutritionist, weight management expert and founder of Nutrivity.in)
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