That Sneaky Fruit Juice

Lots of folks believe that drinking fresh squeezed fruit juice provides great health benefits. Doctors even tend to agree. After all you get concentrated amounts of vitamin C and lots of living enzymes.


And the advertising media chimes in with terms like:

No added sugar

All natural

No preservatives

Have your glass of orange juice every morning


But let’s take a closer look at how fruit juice affects your metabolism.


First of all, when you eat the whole intact fruit the sugar (fructose) comes packaged in individual compartments surrounded by fiber. After biting into that apple (or orange slice) you start chewing which breaks down some of the fiber releasing a portion of the sugar for digestion and assimilation.


But a lot of the fiber remains to be further broken down in the intestine. Then a little more fructose drips out and enters the nearby capillaries for transport by the blood.


All of this digestive process takes time, releasing the fructose drip by drip slowly into the blood stream preventing spikes in the blood sugar.


But what happens when you put that apple through a juicer? First of all one apple does not make very much juice, so you might juice 2 or 3. Where’s the fiber now? In the compost bin and all of the sugar has been released into the glass.


You drink down the juice. The fructose zaps into your blood stream rapidly. Your blood sugar spikes sending a danger signal to the pancreas to pour out insulin to bring down the blood sugar. Other glands and hormones play a role in re-balancing your blood sugar to a normal range so your body doesn’t freak out.


Drinking fruit juice regularly places a chronic stress on the liver, pancreas, adrenals and thyroid gland and contributes to the development of degenerative diseases like diabetes.


But what about those living enzymes in the juice? Aren’t they good for me?


Yes, they are, but you can eat them in the whole fruit without overloading your blood sugar balancing mechanisms. Better yet eat a big variety of raw vegetables including lots of different colors in your meals to get your living enzymes and lots of other nutrient bonuses including the fiber that promotes bowel health.


Even over eating whole fruit can spike the blood sugar and set off alarms in your body.


Some of my patients thought they were eating in such a healthy manner. They kept their healthy fat intake in a good range, but they still had high levels of blood triglycerides (blood fat). Figuring out a way to lower their triglycerides was a frustrating mystery to them and their family doctor.


After interviewing them carefully about their dietary intake, we unearthed the culprit. They were drinking lots of fruit juice, thinking it was a healthy habit.


But the liver links 3 chains of fruit sugar together to transport it in the blood – voila! The sugar turns to fat and keeps the blood triglyceride levels high.


Cut out the juice and the triglycerides go down.


So, if fresh squeezed juice causes a problem, what about bottled juice?


Good question!


All the enzymes have died or been destroyed by the heat process of canning the juice. So you’ve probably already figured out that drinking bottled juice just gives you more quick sugar that upsets the sugar balance in the body.


For the best health outcome limit your enjoyment of fruit to 2 servings per day and avoid drinking fruit juice. A serving of fruit is probably smaller than what you might have guessed. One serving equals:

  • 1 small apple
  • 10 grapes
  • ½ of a banana


Always take time to thoroughly enjoy every delicious bite of your fruit treat for the day.

Dr. Jo






About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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5 Comments On “That Sneaky Fruit Juice”

sherry miller

sherry miller

10 August 2012

How do prunes figure in the picture? I’ve heard and believed they are really high in fiber and good for your lower intestinal tract. They are really sweet though. Sherry

Dr. Jo

Dr. Jo

10 August 2012

The fiber in the prunes keeps the sugar from being released too quickly, but keep your intake to a small serving or you can still spike your blood sugar.

roberta mcleod

roberta mcleod

13 August 2012

Every morning I make a smoothie out a few fruits and several vegetables (raw). I was also using fruit juice, but recently saw a video that said the same bad news about juice, so I started using water instead. So, if you blend the whole fruit with vegetables is that doing the chewing for you? I also heard that blending the raw vegetables was good because we don’t chew our food enough and the blender breaks it down more for our bodies to absorb all the good stuff. It’s hard when you hear different info from many sources. It would be difficult for me to eat those vegetables raw, but blending them with the fruit makes them palatable.

roberta mcleod

roberta mcleod

13 August 2012

I just found your article on green smoothies. That answered a lot of my questions in my previous comment. I’m still curious about the blender doing the chewing for us in the case of fruits.

Dr. Jo

Dr. Jo

14 August 2012

Yes the blender does the chewing for us. Chewing mainly starts the digestive process by breaking the food into smaller particles, taking the load off of the rest of the digestive tract. However, chewing also holds the food in the mouth longer, especially if we chew until the food is liquid in our mouths, so that saliva can start it’s work of digesting the longer chains of starches. So when you drink your smoothie, savor it by holding each mouthful in your mouth longer and swish the liquid around.

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