Eat Fruit But Don’t Drink Fruit Juice

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Fruit pictureThere’s nothing like having a tall cold glass of sweet orange juice with your breakfast.  It’s a healthy way to start the day right?  Well… no, not really.  But wait!  Oranges are fruit and fruit is good for you and orange juice is full of vitamin C and calcium and other healthy stuff.  Right??

Kind of…

Fruit is great for your health.  It’s a raw, natural food that has a high nutrient/energy ratio.  It’s also high in fiber, which slows down the absorption of fructose, the sugar found in fruit that gives it its sweet taste.  Much of the nutrients in fruit, the enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, are locked away in its skin.

When fruit juice is made, the fiber and skin are removed.  This removes many of the nutrients, which many companies artificially replace with synthetic vitamins.  With the fruit’s fiber removed, the fructose is literally dumped into your system with nothing to slow its absorption.  And with all the pulp removed, a person would have to literally eat pounds of fruit to obtain the same amount of fructose found in 1 glass of juice.

This fructose dump into your body is the main reason you should avoid drinking fruit juice.  These days, most people know that sugar is bad for your health.  Sugar is highly inflammatory and is a contributing cause of most chronic systemic diseases that afflict people such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and arthritis.  Avoiding sugars is the number one way to improve your diet and thus your health.  But some sugars are healthier than others.  Glucose is the sugar molecule found in every living organism on Earth.  In fact, it’s found in every living cell of every living organism on the planet.  It is our body’s energy source and crucial for our survival.  It is so critical for our survival that our body can turn other macronutrients, proteins and fats, into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Fructose on the other hand, is not a sugar our cells use for energy.  The body processes it completely differently from glucose.  Only the liver can metabolize fructose in significant amounts and it metabolizes it into VLDL, free fatty acids, and triglycerides.  It is these substances which form the deadly plaque lining our blood vessels in cardiovascular disease.  Drinking fructose will cause massive triglyceride spikes in the blood stream, and the metabolic demand on the liver when consuming fructose is 100%; for glucose it is only 20%.

Calories are not created equally and your body metabolizes nutrients completely differently from each other.  If you consume 100 calories of glucose, less than 1/2 of one calorie will be stored as fat.  But drinking 100 calories of fructose will cause you to store about 34 calories as fat.  Furthermore, glucose produces natural appetite suppressants such as leptin which signals your brain that you’re full; fructose does not do this.  Studies have shown that in as little as 10 weeks, diets high in fructose cause significant increases in deadly adipose fat, the fat surrounding your liver, heart, and digestive organs.  The same study showed that this does not occur with glucose consumption. (J Clin Invest. 2009 May;119(5):1322-34. doi: 10.1172/JCI37385. Epub 2009 Apr 20.)

So eat fruit.  It’s a tasty treat that’s great for your health, but don’t drink fruit juice.  The only juice you should consume is vegetable juice.  But that’s a story for another day.

Dr. Chad Moreau
About Dr. Chad Moreau

Dr. Chad Moreau is the President of Back to Function, a sports chiropractic office dedicated to providing elite quality care for athletes and athletic-minded clients. He is Certified in Postural Restoration by the Postural Restoration Institute. His positions include: Chiropractic Consultant for the University of Southern California Athletics (2020-2022) & Team chiropractor for the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) from 2012-2020, Los Angeles Dodgers 2017-2019 and the Los Angeles Lakers 2020. He can be contacted at