Fruit juice is a preferred drink as it is thought of as it is healthier than many other drink choices. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Read on to learn more.
One of the main issues with fruit juice intake and children is that juice is filling, thus making the child less hungry for other types of nutritious foods. Even though they are getting the calories from juice, the calories come from sugars and carbohydrates. There are no calories from fats or proteins, which are necessary in a balanced diet. A deficiency in fats or proteins can lead to the child being shorter than they should be in adulthood.
Fruit juices also contain less vitamins and nutrients than you might expect. They contain plenty of vitamin C and some are fortified with calcium or iron. However, fruit juice often takes the place of other drinks that are far better for you, such as water or milk. No drink should replace milk in the diet (whether regular milk, breast milk, or formula).
Fruit juice can cause problems such as obesity, dental cavities, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems such as gas, bloating and abdominal pain. The gastrointestinal problems that are associated with drinking too much juice, such as gas and diarrhea, are caused by the excess of carbohydrates in the juice. This “going to the toilet too often” can lead to nutritional deficiencies later in life.
Dental cavities are caused by the sugars in the juice. For this reason, children should never drink juice before going to bed, or from bottles or covered cups during the day. Bottles and covered cups allow the juice to remain in close contact with the teeth for extended periods of time and can end up causing serious tooth decay. In older people, the acids in the juice can cause the enamel of the tooth to wear away.
The sugars in juice can also affect your weight and hormones. This is because unnecessary sugar is stored as fat. Also, when you consume sugar, the levels of insulin in your blood increase. Insulin causes the body to store fat, which is a risk factor for diabetes and it can also damage artery walls, causing heart disease. The sugar in juice can also affect your immune system as it causes white blood cells to stop working as effectively as they should.
However, there are some benefits to drinking juice. If you have a child that does not like eating fruit in its whole form, juice can contribute to their recommended daily servings of fruit. You can get away with having half of the recommended fruit servings for your child come from fruit juice. Fruit juice can also help to relieve constipation. Juice also contains nutrients and vitamins that are not found in soft drinks.
While it is important not to drink too much juice, it does not mean that you have to give up juice altogether, or stop giving it to your children. It is simply about having it in moderation as it is healthy when drank in the correct amounts. Always ensure that the juice that is given is 100 percent fruit juice, and not just a fruit drink as fruit drinks can contain as little as five percent juice. Do not give babies under six months old juice, unless it is recommended by their doctor (pediatricians say small amounts can be used to relieve constipation). Children between the ages of one and six should only have one glass of juice a day, while older children should not have more than two glasses a day. Encourage your children to eat the whole fruit where possible, instead of drinking juice.