Juice: how much is enough?

I recently had a very interesting talk with a doctor friend. He had a patient he’s known for years call him up and tell him he had terrible gout. Dr Gerry asked him what he’d done differently, and he said he’s bought a  juicer based on the amazing health benefits promised on a cable TV advert. And no sooner had he embarked on his intensive juice detox, than the gout descended!

Gerry told him to chuck the juicer. Perhaps a little harsh.. but his patient took his advice and now has no gout.

So what was going on? Isn’t juicing fresh frut and vegetables good for you?

Most health experts now say that sugar has become number one public enemy for health conscious individuals now we as a society have slowly shifted away from smoking and tobacco products. Individuals throughout the developed world continue to eat far too much sugar – an amount considered unsafe by many doctors and researchers.

In the UK, for instance, fruit Juices and soda products are the main source of sugar for children between the ages of four and eighteen. This was pointed out by the most senior nutritionist in the country recently who advised limiting children and adults to a mere 150ml of fruit juice per day. That’s about half a glass, kids!

Additionally, he also specified that fruit juice should not be consumed alone and that providing it with a meal was a better choice for those who insisted on including fruit juices in their diet.

It’s a watershed moment for nutrition in the U.K. Never before was there a hard limit on what the daily intake of fruit juice was intended to be.

Many of us consume fruit juices thinking that it is a short-cut to getting our daily quota of fruits or vegetables (the suggested amount in the U.K. was five servings per day) but we are not aware of the high caloric content, high sugar content and its effect on your teeth. Fruit juice causes tooth decay for some people, particularly when taken in large quantities.

Much of the attention being paid to the health problems associated with fruit juice have come after a study published earlier this year in the Lancet journal where the researchers indicated that fruit juice was just as unhealthy as many sweetened beverages like sodas or energy drinks. The research, which was conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, found that the increase in caloric intake associated with people who included several servings of fruit juice in their diet was directly tied to obesity and a host of other health problems.

Drink up! (Water please. Hydrogen water).