5 Reasons why juice for children isn’t as healthy as you think

Juice is Unhealthy for KidsWhen you give your child juice, his taste buds enjoy an intensely sweet flavor. Additionally, if you mix juice with other foods like those snacks and Go-Gurt yogurts, chances are there that your child will eat a lot of sugary foods. His taste buds quickly adapt themselves to this level of sweetness, and when things are not sweet, he can begin to reject food and taste. Every day, your child develops his taste preferences that can last a lifetime.

Juice is considered empty calories. Although it has multiple nutrients from the fruit, its high sugar concentrate counteracts the nutritional benefits. Juice is not necessarily unhealthy, but its excessive consumption can cause a number of health problems. Here are five reasons.

1 - High in sugar

If you blend fruit as we do for making a smoothie, natural sugars are released from the cell walls and become "free sugars." Free sugars include added sugars (including maple syrup and honey) and are the kind that children should reduce to protect their teeth and lower their energy intake to help maintain a healthy weight. Even if you have added vegetables like spinach or cabbage, they are still likely to be high in sugar.

2 - Your metabolism will suffer without fat and protein

Speaking of ‘all carbohydrates,’ consuming only juice for days starves your kid from fat and protein - both of which are essential for keeping his metabolism up. Juicing regularly can even have long term effects on his metabolism, slowing it down to making him lose weight, even more in the future.

Beyond causing problems for weight loss, fat and protein deficiency can cause other negative effects as well. Without protein, you are subjecting your child to multiple problems including a decreased immune system, feeling dizzy and weak, hair loss, and even increased sugar cravings.

3 - Juices are not a balanced, healthy diet.

We all need to consume more vegetables and fruit, and a 150ml portion of juice is one way to help us towards a balanced diet, but when it comes to eating well, it’s not the only thing to think about. Children's GIT are more sensitive so they also need to eat high fiber and whole grain carbohydrates, as well as some beans, eggs, fish, lean meat, and other protein foods. Small amounts of healthier, unsaturated fats and low-fat dairy products are also important.

4 - Fiber is lacking

“When your child drinks juice or smoothies, he is not getting the fiber that’s present in the raw fruit,” says pediatrician Karen Vargo, MD. Fiber helps not only in the regulation of blood glucose but also helps support bowel movements. When your child drinks pure juice, his blood glucose goes way up, because there is no fiber to counter all the sugar.

Coloring Bookmarks with Reading Log 5 - Fruit Juice Isn’t Always What It Seems

Unfortunately, food and beverage manufacturing companies are not always honest about what ingredients they are using in their products. The fruit juices and smoothies you find at the supermarket may not be what you think they are, even if they are labeled as “not from concentrate” and “100% pure.” After being squeezed from the fruit, the juices are stored in oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before they are packaged. The main problem with this procedure is that it tends to remove most of the natural flavor and sweetness, so they need to add so-called “added flavors and sugars” to the juice, to bring the flavor and sweetness back. So even if you are buying the highest quality juices, they are still far from their original state.

About the author:
Dr. Emma George (M.D.), Nutritionist,

Dr. Emma George is medical graduate and nutritionist with over five years of experience in the field of medicine. She has a special interest in medicine, advancing medical techniques, and how the knowledge of medicine helps people improve their lives. Besides that, she is also a passionate writer and has published many health-related articles, books, and journals over the past years.

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