‘Sweetened Foods, Not Fruit Juice Responsible for Excess Sugar’

Martins Ifijeh

A reputed nutritionist, Dr. Bisi Abiola has revealed that sweetened food, not fruit juice intake, as some people erroneously assume, was responsible for excess sugar level.

Abiola, who is the Managing Director of Indulge Nigeria Limited, stated this in her monthly wellness dialogue series, which is supported by Chivita, to boost public knowledge on the benefits of 100 per cent fruit juice.

In the lecture, Abiola said simple sugar contained in whole fruit and fruit juices was mostly in the form of fructose, but also include glucose and sucrose, adding that the amount contained in fruit juices was moderate and far less than the quantity considered as excessive.

She said: “Most often, the largest quantity of sugar in our diet tends to come from sweetened-processed products such as cakes, sweets, chocolates, puddings/desserts and sugar-added beverages.

“Sugar in 100 per cent fruit juice always comes with the fruits that have been juiced. Accordingly, the World Health Organisation takes account of natural sugars contained in fruit juices in the ‘free sugars’ category’.”

Abiola pointed out that 100 per cent fruit juice contains no-added sugar, flavour or preservatives, adding that there is no direct link between the product and health risks such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and dental decay.

According to her, 100 per cent fruit juice contains fructose, which is equivalent to the raw fruits they are made from.

She further explained that some fruit juices are sweeter than others because fruits, which they are extracted from, are of varied amount of sugar.

She said: “Juice is an important source of nutrients for many people and 100 per cent fruit juice makes a valuable contribution to your daily intake of Vitamin C.

“A glass of pure orange fruit juice is also a good source of folate and potassium. It is a difficult task for children, and harder for adults to eat the five recommended portions of fruit a day, a problem readily solved by ready to drink fruit juices like Chivita 100 per cent fruit juice.

“But surprisingly, the sugar scare is overshadowing the positive contributions that fruit juice makes to national health. Research supports favourable effects of fruit juices on lipid profile and blood pressure.

“With regards to dental decay, there is no major evidence of a link with the consumption of fruit or fruit juices, except when related to feeding bottles in early childhood.

“In a methodical review of the evidence, there exists no reliable evidence of negative impact of 100 per cent fruit juice on health, including body weight, cardiovascular disease and risk of type-two diabetes.”

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