Fruit juice linked to premature death as much as sugary drinks

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Fruit juice linked to premature death as much as sugary drinks

(NaturalHealth365) While most people are aware that sugary drinks aren’t healthy, researchers recently found that fruit juice isn’t really any better. In fact, researchers recently found that drinking these juices regularly is linked to premature death just as much as consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.

One study, which was published at the end of May in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that drinking too much fruit juice may result in an increased risk of premature death, with that risk ranging between 9-42%.  Even though the sugars found in fruit juices like orange juice are naturally occurring, the study suggests that they’re actually quite similar to the sugars found in sodas and other sugary drinks.

The link between fruit juice and heart disease

While several cities across the United States, including Philadelphia and New York, have started taxing drinks with added sugar to reduce consumption, this new study gives us a new definition of sugary drinks that includes sugar-sweetened drinks and 100% natural fruit juices with no added sugar.

The study repurposed data taken from another study and analyzed data from more than 13,000 adults. They discovered that in individuals who consumed 10% or more of their daily caloric intake as sugary drinks had a 44% higher risk of dying due to heart disease, as well as a 14% higher risk of premature death due to any cause when compared to individuals who got less than 5% of their calories each day in the form of these drinks.

Every extra 12-ounce serving of fruit juice was linked to having a 24% higher risk of death due to any cause. The authors of the study noted that they weren’t surprised by these findings since research suggests that fructose has the ability to promote weight gain around the waist – a well-known risk factor for heart disease.

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The problem with store-bought fruit juice

This study was one of the first to explore the relationship between fruit juice and premature death. So, what’s the problem with store-bought fruit juice? Does it mean that all fruit juices are bad?

The problem with store-bought fruit juice is that it’s pasteurized, which means it’s depleted in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients. All you have left in most store-bought juices is highly processed, sugary water.

In the future, it would be interesting to see additional studies looking at freshly prepared, raw fruit juices that have been made at home. Leaving in the essential nutrients could make homemade fruit juices a healthier alternative to those store-bought, processed options that we now know increase your risk of premature death.

Sources for this article include:

JAMANetwork.com
UPI.com
CNN.com
Harvard.edu
MedicalXpress.com