One Hidden Culprit Behind Weight Gain: Fruit Juice

From Drugs.com - February 14, 2018

One Hidden Culprit Behind Weight Gain: Fruit Juice

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2018 -- Fruit juice is not doing any favors for your waistline, a new study reports.

People who drink a small glass of fruit juice daily can expect to steadily gain a bit of weight over the years, according to data from a long-term study of women's health.

It's about the same weight gain you'd expect if someone drank a similar amount of sugary soda every day, the study authors noted.

On the other hand, someone who increases consumption of whole fruit by one serving a day can expect to lose about a pound over three years, the researchers found.

A single 6-ounce daily serving of 100-percent fruit juice every day prompted an average weight gain of about half a pound over three years, said lead researcher Dr. Brandon Auerbach, a doctor at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

"The numbers might not seem like they are that large, but this is in the context of an average American gaining about one pound every year," Auerbach said. "In terms of weight gain, there's a striking difference between fruit juice and whole fruit."

The large load of sugar contained in fruit juice is contributing to the United States' obesity epidemic, the researchers concluded.

A 6-ounce serving of pure fruit juice contains between 15 and 30 grams of sugar, and 60 to 120 calories, the study authors noted.

Whole fruit also contains sugar, but that sugar is stored within the pulp and fiber of the fruit, Auerbach said. Even high-pulp 100-percent orange juice is not a significant source of fiber.

Without that added fiber, the sugar in fruit juice hits your bloodstream much faster, inducing an insulin jolt that alters your metabolism, Auerbach said.

"Fruit juice does have the same vitamins and minerals as whole fruit does, but it has hardly any fiber," he said. "The sugar in fruit juice gets absorbed very quickly, and we think that's why it acts differently in the body."

This new report relied on data from more than 49,000 post-menopausal American women who were part of the Women's Health Initiative, a national health study, between 1993 and 1998.


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