Drinking Fruit Juice Apparently Increases Your Risk Of Death, According To A New Study

May 21, 2019

We all know how important it is to eat fruits. They’re high in essential vitamins and minerals, low in sodium and calories, and full of flavor! It also doesn’t hurt that you can enjoy whole fruit in a myriad of ways, including fresh fruit smoothies and breakfast oatmeal. And while it might seem like fruit can do no wrong, the form of the fruit plays a significant role.

According to recent research, fruit juice is just as unhealthy as sugary drinks like soda.

In a 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers examined dietary data from 13,440 black and white adults ages 45 years and older. The researchers specifically focused on intake of sugary beverages — and 100% fruit juice — to determine how such drinks relate to risk of death. (All 13,440 adults included in the analysis did not have prior strokes, coronary heart disease, or diabetes at the beginning of the study.)

The researchers found that every additional 12-ounce serving of fruit juice is linked to a 24% higher risk of death.

This even includes “all natural” 100% fruit juice. But remember, these findings don’t mean that fruit juice literally causes death. It demonstrates a link between fruit juice intake and risk of dying from a chronic disease. And then there are also other factors, like overall eating habits and physical activity, that affect said risk. But it’s still important to understand how fruit juice plays into the picture.

According to the study, 100% fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages are similar in terms of nutrition.

Both drinks are primarily made of sugar and water.

The sugars in fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages are practically identical.

All sugary drinks, including fruit juice, typically contain glucose and fructose.

Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides, which are the most basic unit of carbs. They’re also called simple sugars.

Sugary drinks can also contain sucrose, which is made of glucose and fructose.

As you can see, glucose and fructose is essentially the same as sucrose. That’s why the body processes sugars from all sweetened drinks in a similar way.

Fructose — or “fruit sugar” — is primarily metabolized in the liver.

High fructose consumption is associated with increased central adiposity, or weight gain around the lower abdomen.

It’s also linked to high blood pressure, inflammation, and risk of diabetes.

All of these factors can increase your risk of early death.

Does this mean fruit is unhealthy? Definitely not.

Whole fruit contains fiber, which slows down digestion and controls blood sugar.

Eating whole fruit also increases satiety, so you’re less likely to consume extra calories.

Liquid calories, on the other hand, don’t satisfy the appetite like solid food.

So, if you’re feeling thirsty, hydrate with water or unsweetened tea instead.

Enjoy whole fruit as much as possible, too!