How Healthy are juice and soft drinks?
4 Disadvantages of Fresh Juice and Soft Drinks
On a hot day or at the barbeque, there’s nothing better that a glass of fresh cool juice or a cola. However, they aren’t the healthiest of thirst quenchers.
Here are four surprising disadvantages.
1. They’re fattening
Sodas and juice drinks are associated with a higher risk of obesity because they contain a lot of sugars and, therefore, energy. A 200 ml glass of cola contains 88 calories, and the same amount of orange juice has 90 calories, which is comparable to the energy provided by a banana or a slice of brown bread. In addition, our body does not properly register liquid sugars as the energy is used too quickly. Put simply, fizzy drinks and fruit juices don’t fill you up so you keep drinking and still have a good appetite during meals.
Studies on children show that they fare better when consuming diet sodas rather than the ‘full-fat’ versions. If you want to lose weight, avoiding juice and opting for lighter versions of soda is sensible. Although many people are wary of aspartame, there is no evidence to say that it is unsafe. You’re better off eating a whole piece of fruit rather than drinking juice as the fibre content will fill you up and you will get more vitamins. If you crave a glass of juice, however, opt for pure fruit juice without any added sugar.
2. They increase your risk of type 2 diabetes
Due to the higher risk of obesity, drinking sodas and juices can also lead to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. That is why the Health Council recommends avoiding sugary drinks. Furthermore, soft drinks often contain fructose in the form of ‘high fructose corn syrup’. This form of sugar is partly processed in the liver and too much can lead to the production of fats in the liver, abdominal fat and more fat in the bloodstream. All factors that make the body less sensitive to the hormone insulin, which causes blood sugars to increase. This process can ultimately lead to type 2 diabetes.
3: They cause cavities (dental caries)
There is another disadvantage associated with the sugar in soda and juice. Oral bacteria convert the sugars and carbohydrates contained in fresh fruit juice into acid. This acid causes dental caries or cavities. Diet sodas do not have this disadvantage.
4: They affect your tooth enamel
Soft drinks and fruit juice are also bad for your teeth because of the acids they contain that cause dental erosion. The enamel dissolves as a result of acid exposure from food and drink. Teeth become shorter, thinner, more transparent with dark spots. And once the damage has occurred, there is little the dentist can do.
Both soft drinks and fruit juices contain many acids, such as phosphoric acid in cola, and citric or malic acid in all kinds of fresh fruit and sports drinks. Recently, the Consumers’ Association even issued a warning about it. These acids are also found in diet soda. The more you drink them and hold them in your mouth, the worse it is for your teeth. For this reason, drinking lemonade with a straw is better than ‘just’ drinking. You should also avoid eating and drinking between meals more than four times a day.
Opt for natural or flavoured water
Water, tea and coffee without sugar do not have these disadvantages. They don’t contain any sugar, acids or calories. Another advantage: water is available from your taps at home so you don’t have to pack with packs and bottles, and it’s much cheaper than buying bottled drinks. All reason for keeping soft drinks for an occasional treat. If you fancy a change? Check out the tips for healthy summer thirst quenchers!
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