If you think feeding your children fruit juices is a healthy alternative to feeding them other kinds of juices, you’d be surprised to know that you’re mistaken.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and Action on Sugar studied over 200 fruit drinks and discovered that their sugar content is “unacceptably high.”
“Unfortunately our research shows that these parents have been misled,” it said. “The sugar content of the fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies tested, is unacceptably high. And smoothies are among the worst offenders.”
Additionally, a study by BMJ Open, which examined 158 juices, found that pure fruit juices and smoothies contain twice the amount of sugar than an average juice drink.
“It is highly concerning that many parents are still buying fruit juices and juice drinks for their children thinking they are choosing healthy products; children should be given as little juice as possible,” said Kawther Hashem, co-author of the study.
“These juices rot children’s teeth and give children a ‘sweet tooth’ that will affect their general health in later life.”
READ: 10 sneaky ways to get toddlers to eat more vegetables
It has to be mentioned that sugar, even if it comes from fruits, are still sugar and an excess of it have considerable consequences.
For this very reason, the researchers are suggesting that, instead of feeding your children juices (pure or concentrated), feed them real fruits instead. And if you must, buy only unsweetened juice or dilute the juice with water to balance it out.
“Our advice is to eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice. Juice should be an occasional treat, not an ‘everyday’ drink,” Kawther said.
Effects of sugar in your body
Among other things, an excess in consumption in sugar has these side-effects:
- Reduces the body’s ability to defend against bacterial infection
- Suppresses the immune system
- Rots the teeth and gums
- Causes hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children
- Increases reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage cells and tissues
- Interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium
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