If you wake up in the morning and crave a glass of orange juice along with your breakfast, chances are you were conditioned to believe that the beverage is part of a balanced breakfast. While there is no denying the fruit juice is appetizing, we should all take more notice of how much sugar orange juice contains.
As IFLScience points out, orange juice isn’t much better for you than a glass of soda. Why? Because both drinks contain a ridiculous amount of sugar.
For instance, a 12 oz glass of orange juice contains the following:
- 153 calories
- 34 grams of carbohydrates
- 27 grams of sugar
- 2.4 grams of protein
- 0.7 grams of fiber
That is the same amount of carbs and just three grams less sugar than in a bag of M&Ms. “The reality of the situation is that yes, a glass of orange juice does indeed contain some vitamin C, but that fact hardly outweighs the fact that O.J. is just loaded with sugar,” says Dr. Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, and Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. “A single 12 ounce glass of O.J. contains an incredible 9 teaspoons of sugar, about the same as a 12 ounce can of Coke! This equates to 36 grams of carbs, about half of what you should consume in a day.”
Another reason orange juice is less healthy than advertisers portray is because all of the fiber has been removed. As a result, drinking it is more likely to spike your blood sugar, then leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry shortly after. If you consume orange juice for the vitamins, research shows that you’d be better off obtaining those nutrients by eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, leafy greens, and nuts and seeds.
A glass of orange juice now and again won’t wreck your health or waistline. But, it seems clear that you’d be better off sipping on water with lemon, smoothies that contain fiber, and low-sugar snacks that keep you satiated, such as tarragon-mustard kale chips, sweet potato fries with a spicy turmeric-ranch dressing, or this gluten-free peanut butter granola.
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