We’re all trying to eat more healthy foods, and a good many of us are watching our weight. Common sense says adding orange juice to your diet is an easy way to get lots of benefits in a fast and simple way. What could be better than a big glass of 100 percent orange juice to start your day or as an energy-boosting snack?
Unfortunately, that glass of orange juice may do less good than you think and may actually be undermining your efforts to a healthier lifestyle.
1. Your 100 Percent Orange Juice May Be Modified
Even if the label says that it’s 100 percent juice, that doesn’t mean that your morning juice hasn’t been modified. You’ve probably noticed that your brand of juice always tastes the same regardless of the time of year. That’s because producers have developed a great way to preserve their juice.
This method of preservation is called deaeration. Raw juice is stored in huge aseptic tanks where the oxygen is removed from and it’s pasteurized. This processed juice can be stored for up to a year before it’s packaged for the grocer’s shelves. This is great for efficient storage and production, but it renders the juice flavorless.
To compensate for this, producers add flavor packs to give the customers the taste they demand. Yes, manufacturers of these products use the oils and essence of oranges to create the additives, so they can legitimately use the 100 percent juice moniker on the label. That’s the main reason your orange juice always tastes the same. If you visit another country, the orange juice you drink there may taste significantly different. That’s because various countries have different preferences and flavor packs have been developed to suit a variety of tastes.
2. Orange Juice Isn’t A Great Source Of Vitamin C
We’ve been led to believe for years that oranges are a great source of vitamin C. While they do have a substantial amount of this vitamin, they are far outpaced by vegetables as the leading source of dietary vitamin C.
One cup of orange juice contains between 75-90mg of vitamin C.
According to the USDA National Nutritional Database, one cup of the following vegetables has loads of vitamin C:
• Sautéed Sweet Green Pepper – 203.6mg
• Raw, sweet red pepper – 190.3mg
• Canned tomato juice – 170.3mg
• Vegetable juice cocktail – 13i7.9mg
• Kale – 87.1mg
• Raw broccoli – 81.2mg
• Cooked Peas – 76.6mg
When you factor in the calories and sugar you consume when drinking orange juice, you’re much better off with veggies for boosting your vitamin C intake. There’s a wide variety of vegetables high in this vitamin, so you’ll never be burned out eating just a couple of foods to get your daily dose of vitamin C.
3. Orange Juice Has As Much Sugar And Calories As A Can Of Coke
You may not want to believe it, but your good-and-good-for-you orange juice is just as sugar laden as a can of your favorite soda. It’s also full of carbs, for those of you trying to cut down on your carbohydrate intake.
A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has:
• Carbs from sugar – 40 grams
• Sugar – 10 teaspoons
• Calories – 145
A 12-ounce glass of OJ has:
• Carbs from sugar – 39 grams
• Sugar – 8 teaspoons
• Calories – 165
There’s not a lot of difference between the two as far as carbs are concerned, and orange juice has more calories.
You may have cut out Coke if you’re trying to lose weight, but make sure you don’t replace high-calorie sodas with even higher calorie orange juice because you think it’s a healthy substitute.
When it comes to healthy eating, there’s a lot of fallacies mixed in with the facts. A lot of nutrition lore is just that – statements that are taken as the truth because they have been repeated for so long.
However, modern science and medical research is continually uncovering more information about the food we eat. We’re continuing to learn about the chemistry of food and how our bodies utilize it. Discover the real facts before you start a new healthy eating program so you’ll make healthy and economical choices for you and your family.