By Ramesh Bjonnes
Many health professionals are spreading the myth that juice cleansing is unhealthy because
- juices do not contain fiber and
- they contain too much sugar.
Some people don’t even eat fruit or drink juices in fear of getting diabetes or becoming obese. But in reality, those people are missing out on healthy antioxidants and important sources of fiber—yes, even juices do contain some fiber.
But fruit sugar is not the same as table sugar. The latter contains mainly sucrose, which is derived from beet or cane sugar.
Sucrose is a disaccharide of two molecules, fructose and glucose. Sugar manufacturing processes often involve refining and bleaching the sugar which makes matters worse. The ratio of glucose to fructose in a sugar molecule is 1:1.
But can sucrose cause diseases such as obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease? Sucrose can contribute to obesity and insulin resistance when consumed in large amounts. Sucrose causes quick insulin spikes when consumed which is not good for health. Consumed in moderate quantities, however, it is not dangerous. Yet, due to the high amounts of sugar in so many processed foods many of us consume daily, sugar poses a great risk of getting diabetes and heart disease.
Another major problem with sugar is that it is processed. So, since sugar is already nutrient-free and is processed through refining and bleaching, sugar consumption creates many health hazards.
The sweet taste from fruits is different than table sugar because fruit sugar is predominantly fructose, while containing smaller amounts of sucrose. Fruits are not mainly composed of sugar. The average content of “sugar” in fruit varies from fruit to fruit but is approximately 5-15 grams, the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1 tablespoon of sugar. In addition to fruits having fructose, fruits also have other nutrients:
What is meant by “Volume”? Fruits are much more voluminous than sugar. A medium-sized apple compared to a tablespoon of sugar have roughly the same number of calories. But the apple is more nutrient dense while sugar contains empty calories. Thus, the apple will help curb your hunger and make you feel full while sugar will simply make you crave even more sugar.
Fruit Juices and Sugar
So, what about fasting on fruit juices? Processed juices made from frozen pulps contain high amounts of fruit sugar and are thus not healthy and should never be used when juice fasting. The juices we use at the Prama Wellness Center, however, are freshly made. They also contain some fibers, and most importantly, they are also mixed with fresh vegetables juices. Hence the amount of sugar you consume from these juices is quite low. In fact, people with diabetes will note that their blood sugar levels will not spike on the juices that we serve. Hence, in conclusion, there is no danger in consuming too much sugar when undergoing a juice cleanse or eating moderate amounts of fruits every day.
Which Fruits are Highest and Lowest in Sugar?
Juicy fruits like watermelon, peaches, and plums are generally higher in sugar content, while apples, especially green apples, are low in sugar. Dried fruits are also higher in sugar content than fresh fruits, while berries have the lowest sugar content.
Balance is the Key to Good Health
In summary, there is little danger in consuming too much sugar while consuming moderate amounts of fresh fruits (about 3-4 servings a day), or while doing a juice cleanse, even for many days, as long as you mix your juices with at least 60 percent fresh vegetable juices. When you do that, you get both high amounts of nutrient density from the vegetable juices and high amounts of antioxidants from the fruit juices.