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This summer, swap your fruit juice for healthier options

Having a cold glass of your favorite fruit juice seems like a good way to beat the scorching heat this time of the year — or is it?

juice

While fruit juices seem like a more flavorful and healthier than energy drinks or sodas, look closer at their nutrition labels the next time you want to stock up on them. As it turns out, some fruit juices contain high amounts of calories and added sugars because manufacturers deliberately add artificial “flavor packs” into the mix.

And, when you consume these highly concentrated sugars, in the long run, you are increasing your risk for obesity and metabolic dysfunction. It also can be a precursor of nonalcoholic liver disease among children. In adults, it can raise uric acid levels and gout risk.

Spoon University’s Danielle Limcaoco compared popular fruit juices against sodas per 100 milliliters (ml). What’s surprising is that most beverages didn’t have major differences, and some were, in fact, almost identical:

  • Welch’s Grape Juice has 15 grams (g) of sugar and 56 calories (kcal), more than Mountain Dew’s 13.1 g and 49 kcal.
  • Simply Lemonade’s 12.4 g sugar content is higher than Fanta’s, which stands at 11.8, although the soda has more calories (50.6 kcal versus Simply Lemonade’s 45 kcal).
  • Ocean Spray Cherry Juice has 11.8 g of sugar and 46.4 kcal, compared to Pepsi’s 11.7 g and 41.7 kcal content.
  • You may think apple juice is one of the healthiest drinks around, but Minute Maid Apple Juice contains 10.9 g of sugar and 46.7 kcal, quite similar to a Coca Cola’s 11.7 g and 42 kcal content.
  • While both Dole Pineapple Juice and Dr. Pepper have 10.8 g of sugar, the juice clocks in more calories at 54.2 kcal (compared to the soda’s 42.3 kcal content).
  • Tropicana Orange Juice has more calories than a Sprite (46 kcal vs. 39.4 kcal), but the soda’s sugar content is still higher (9 g versus 10.7 g).

With these numbers in mind, look for healthy beverages that’ll help lower your risk for health issues, and at the same time, quench your thirst. Ideally, high-quality, filtered pure water is the best choice when you’re thirsty and looking for the best substitute for commercial fruit juices

If you want a bit of flavor in your water, you can add a slice of lemon or lime, or even a strawberry. But, another good option is coconut water, a well-known source of natural electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. This drink may be beneficial for children and teenagers who love to do sports and outdoor activities during the summer, because it’s low in sugar and calories while helping replenish their nutrient stores and providing them with additional energy.

 
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