Is Juice better than Soda?
Comparing fruit juice to soda the main ingredient in both is water. The second ingredient in both is sugar from fructose. In 12oz of Coca-cola are 140 calories and no other nutritional value compared to 12oz of orange juice has 170 calories, in fact, there is more fructose sugar in the juice.
Nutritionally juices may have calcium, some vitamins and folate that your child is probably getting from other sources like grains. Nutritionally, it’s similar enough to soda that you might as well think of it as soda. I do.
The fruit juice you find at the supermarket labelled as “100% pure” and “not from concentrate” still is not. After being squeezed from the fruit, the juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. The main problem with this method is that it tends to remove most of the flavor, so the manufacturers need to add so called “flavor packs” to the juice, to bring back the flavor that was lost during processing.
When we eat whole fruit, it takes significant effort to chew and swallow them. The sugar in them is also bound within fibrous structures that break down slowly during digestion. Not only that, but fruit is also very fulfilling so it’s hard to eat a lot of it. For these reasons, the sugar in whole fruit gets sent to the liver slowly and in small amounts. The liver can easily metabolize these small amounts without being overloaded.
When the liver takes in more fructose than it can handle, some if it gets turned into fat. Some of the fat can lodge in the liver and contribute to fat buildup and insulin resistance. Controlled metabolic studies show that liquid sugar can cause insulin resistance, raise triglycerides and small, dense LDL cholesterol, elevate oxidized LDL cholesterol and cause belly fat accumulation in as little as 10 weeks.
For kids of all ages, whole fruits, water and milk are the best choices. Besides having zero calories, water is a no sugar thirst quencher. And 1 cup of milk has 300 milligrams of calcium, so it’s a big contributor to a child’s daily needs for each day:
toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years): 700 milligrams of calcium daily
kids (ages 4 to 8 years): 1000 milligrams
older kids (ages 9 to 18 years): 1,300 milligrams
The current dietary guidelines for milk or equivalent dairy products or fortified soy beverages are:
Kids ages 2 to 3 should drink 2 cups (480 milliliters) every day.
Kids 4 through 8 should have 2½ cups (600 milliliters) per day.
Kids 9 and older should have 3 cups (720 milliliters) per day.
Talk to your Pediatrician about healthy fluids to include in your child’s diet on a daily basis.