People who regularly drink fruit juice may actually be putting their health at risk, two new studies have claimed after finding that the beverage is packed with so much sugar that it can be addictive.
Drinking just two glasses a day could give people a "sweet tooth", making them crave calorie-packed food, claimed one study, while the another suggested for eating dried fruits as they contain as many antioxidants, polyphenols and nutrients as normal fruits do.
The findings of both the studies concluded that fruit juices should not be counted as one of your five-a-day and consumption of dried fruit needs to encouraged, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The first study, carried out by a team from the Bangor University in North Wales, found that even freshly squeezed fruit juices can contain as much as five teaspoons of sugar per glass because the squeezing process concentrates their sweetness.
This is around two-thirds of the amount found in a can of soda and can contribute to obesity and also disturb blood sugar levels and the body's natural metabolism.
Researchers said that the juices should be taken off the five-a-day recommendations so that people are encouraged to eat whole fruits and vegetables instead which have far more nutrients per calorie.
Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, who led the research, said that the fruit juices could encourage a "sweet tooth".
"I'd question the wisdom of including fruit juice in the five-a-day message. The problem is people often substitute them for real fruit which is a mistake," he said.