Is fruit juice damaging your health?

Fruit juice should not be counted as one of our five-a-day, according to health guidelines

Do you regularly reach for the juice carton in the morning to kick-start your five-a-day? Think again, as new health guidelines insist that fruit juice should not be counted as one of you daily fruit and veg portions as it contains too much sugar.

Until recently, it was thought that consuming apple or orange juice was a healthy way of achieving your five-a-day. But now reports are suggesting that the amount of sugar in one glass – a staggering five teaspoons – could cause obesity and affect blood sugar levels.

There are worries that regularly drinking fruit juices could make people develop a sweet tooth and lead to eating further sugary foods, causing health problems later in life.

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‘I’d question the wisdom of including fruit juice in the five-a-day message,’ said Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, from Bangor University in North Wales. ‘The problem is people often substitute them for real fruit which is mistake,’ he added.

Instead, the findings of two British researchers are encouraging parents to give their children water to drink and for people to eat more whole fruits and vegetables.

They even suggest that fruit juice, which contains two thirds of the amount of sugar found in a fizzy drink, should be taken off the five-a-day recommendations altogether. Instead, people should be snacking on bananas or a whole apple.

Dried fruit is also being cited as a healthy addition to your diet. Researchers at Leeds University have found that the dried version contains just as many antioxidants, polyphenols and nutrients as fresh fruit.

Dried fruit can also help fight against cancer, metabolic disease and heart problems.

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