Anjali Kettermal, 35, worked hard to get her weight down from 58 kg to 55 kg. Exercise combined with a sugar-free, carb-less diet made no difference. Then, one day, she ran out of juice, literally, and lost a kg in a week. “I took seabuckthorn juice twice a day. Since seabuckthorn berry is bitter, the juice has huge amount of added sugar which was adding 600 calories to my diet. Once I stopped, I lost weight immediately,” says Kettermal.
Guzzling sweetened fruit drinks daily increases the risk of diabetes in susceptible people, reported researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Centre in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Since juices have low fibre, the sugar almost immediately gets absorbed into the bloodstream, causing blood sugar levels to shoot up.
A healthy adult needs to have seven to 10 teaspoons of added sugar a day. “With one glass of sweetened juice alone, most exceed the limit for the day. Drink more and you’ll gain weight and have problems like diabetes,” says nutritionist Ishi Khosla.
Since one glass of orange juice equals four to six oranges, even unsweetened juices add to your total calories intake.
“People forget that juices also have calories,” says Khosla. The nutrient edge can be huge. Two glasses of citrus juice meet an adult’s daily requirement of vitamin C. But whole fruit is better, as you get all of the nutrients, with the added advantage of fibre and fewer calories.