So you thought fruit juices are good for your kids, eh? So you thought all those “fortified” juices in fancy tetrapaks would make your child bounce and glow, eh? So you thought a hefty swig of fruit juice four times a day would make you healthy, wealthy and wise, eh?
Way back in 2001, The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) had issued a policy statement on the use of fruit juices [The use and misuse of fruit juice in pediatrics. Pediatrics, Volume 107, pages 1210-1213, 2001.] Here’s an extract:
Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for infants younger than 6 months and therefore should not be introduced into their diet. For older infants and children, fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit. Fruit drinks are not nutritionally equivalent to fruit juice. Juice is not appropriate for treating dehydration or managing diarrhea.
Surprised? You ought to be. Here are some more juicy facts for you:
Excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition and can cause diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal distention and tooth decay.
Unpasteurized juice may contain pathogens that can cause serious illnesses. In place of ‘unpasteurized’ read ‘squeezed in a fruit juicer at home’.
Infants should not be given juice from bottles or hi-tech transportable covered cups that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day. Infants should not be given juice at bedtime. Intake of fruit juice should be limited to one small glass per day for children 1 to 6 years old. For children 7 to 18 years old, juice intake should be limited to two servings per day.
Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits to meet their recommended daily fruit intake. Infants, children, and adolescents should not consume unpasteurized juice.
You can download the entire report here.
I could quote several other reports and articles about the perils of juicing, but I’m sure you can do your own research, instead of taking me at my word.
No point in squeezing the life out of all those fruits and raw vegetables. You may actually be doing yourself and your child some harm.
In case you didn’t get it, the message is …
JUICING IS UNSAFE!
Diet gurus would have us believe that juicing is the answer to mankind’s ills. There are all kinds of ‘organic’ juice concoctions that promise to reverse disease, stop aging and generally bring happiness to one and all. “Live”, uncooked juices, we are told, flush the body of “toxins”, leaving us in state of eternal bliss.
When you juice the crap out of a fruit or vegetable, you lose all the other benefits you can get from it, like fiber for instance.
Fruit or vegetable juice is not a substitute for food. Fruits and vegetables are meant to be eaten. What do you think your teeth are for?
Yes, fruits and vegetables are good for you. That’s the primary message of my blog.
But…eat your fruits and vegetables. Don’t drink them!
Stay healthy. Stay safe. As Nature intended.
Cheers … Srini.