Many people start their (and/or their kid's) day with a tall glass of orange juice. "A great source of Vitamin C," is a common refrain heard by the masses. But, there's a dirty little secret that Tropicana, Minute Maid, and other orange juice purveyors hope drinkers continue to ignore...
Orange juice is loaded, and I mean LOADED, with sugar. One serving of OJ (an 8-ounce glass) contains 22 grams of sugar. By comparison, 8-ounces of Dr. Pepper (pick your pop) contains 27grams of sugar. Pretty close right? Would you ever let your kid suck down a soda at breakfast? Would soda ever make your healthy drink list? In terms of sugar, Orange Juice and soda must be looked at as one and the same.
"But how can that be -- oranges are a very healthy fruit, i thought?" That's correct, oranges are very good for you and your kids. Eating one at breakfast (or at some point during the day) is a smart and healthy choice. However, an average orange yields 2 ounces of actual juice. So, when you drink an 8-ounce glass of OJ, it's comparable to eating 4 oranges!!! Can you ever imagine yourself eating 4 oranges in one sitting? No way! Worse, many restaurants serve OJ in a 10-12 ounce glass!
Recent studies have confirmed that drinking one glass of OJ a day raises diabetes risk by 20% (thanks to all of the sugar).
What to do?
1) Eat the real thing - drinking juice strips away the all-important fiber contained in pieces of fruit.
2) Drink a very small portion - if you don't have the time to peel an orange, drink only 2-3 ounces of juice (shot glass). This amount contains an equivalent proportion of natural sugar found in an orange.
3) Don't give your kids juice - I cringe when seeing toddlers sucking on a bottle full of orange, apple or other juice. Moms and Dads may as well be filling it up with Mountain Dew. Give your kids the real thing and let them drink water and/or milk.