Take a peak inside the average American’s refrigerator and you’ll likely see a big carton of orange juice. After all, what’s breakfast without a glass of OJ? This was my mindset for a long time and like many people, I thought it was a healthy beverage. Fresh squeezed, pure, premium, 100% juice, organic oranges, vitamin c, not from concentrate. Sounds pretty healthy right? WRONG! If you’ve haven’t either eliminated or cut back on your consumption of OJ, here are some reasons why you should.
1.) No Better Than Soda: Orange juice, and any fruit juice for that matter, should be in the same disease causing group as soda. When you drink a can of soda, your body converts the sugar to glucose very rapidly and stores the excess as fat. This is why soda consumption is a major cause of obesity. Fruit juice, once ingested, does the exact same thing within the body. How? Natural fiber in fruit that helps slow absorption is stripped during processing. With the fiber gone, the sugar in juice moves rapidly through the body and just like soda, the excess gets stored as fat. Ditching juice could be your secret weapon for shedding that extra mid-section weight! Oh and staving off obesity and diabetes!
2.) Chemical Flavoring: Have you heard of flavor packs? I hadn’t either until catching wind of Alissa Hamilton’s book “Squeezed: What You Don’t Know about Orange Juice.” In it she discusses a process that orange juice companies use call “deaeration,” which involves stripping juice of oxygen so it doesn’t go rancid while being stored in tanks for up to a year. This process, Hamilton notes, also strips the juice of its natural flavor, so companies hire engineers to add chemical flavors back into the
juice dead water to give it a taste. YUM! Each company uses a unique flavor packet or formula, which is why Tropicana tastes like Tropicana and Minute Maid tastes like Minute Maid, no matter what time of year.
3.) How Many Oranges?: It takes about 4 oranges to make an 8oz glass of juice. Would you normally sit down and eat 4 oranges? No. Do the math and you’re looking at around 16 oranges in every 32oz carton of OJ! If you’re concerned about our food supply, and the carbon footprint of products you purchase, try eating a whole piece of fruit. Even better if it’s local!
*What To Do?
-If you’re an avid orange juice drinker and don’t see yourself giving it up any time soon, then make your own as much as possible. This is what fresh squeezed OJ should taste like! Another option would be to make orange infused water. Simply fill a pitcher with water and add thin slices of orange to infuse.
-If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamin c, understand that their are many foods that have more vitamin c than oranges. Broccoli, kale, bell peppers, papaya, kiwi and brussels sprouts to name a few.
-Orange juice is very addictive. The high sugar content excites the pleasure center in your brain, making you want more of it. I used to have a glass everyday and would add it to all my smoothies. Stop purchasing it and you’ll forget about it in no time.