By Rosemary Marchese
Physiotherapist and mum of 3 fit kids
So, a short while ago the fruit juice industry publicly challenged the anti-sugar message around fruit and fruit juice that we have all been getting for at least the past decade. Not surprising considering this message changes their bottom-line. I’ve been raising three kids for the past 10 years and come across countless parents that refuse to give their kids juice and even if they did it was really watered down. I think I was the only parent that would allow my kids to drink juice (in small amounts). I wouldn’t give my kids juice every day and I am not a dietician, but I have to say that I find the messages about juice and fruit a little disturbing. Why?
For a start, just like anything, there are good and bad versions. Any version of ‘fruit’ that has been tampered with, in my book, can’t be good for you. When I say ‘tampered’ I mean added sugar and other ‘bits and pieces’. But I have a juicer, and when I can I juice fresh stuff and there is no added fake anything. Just fruits and vege’s. I love the mornings when I have time to get this done because I know my family is starting off with a great proportion of the recommended fruits and vege’s that they need in a day. All in one hit. I’ve always figured that they are active so they are using it and I think about all the goodness they are getting. They don’t have it every day and I think this is a good thing.
Cut the Crap – Is Fruit Juice Good for You or Not?
Is this the right approach or not? Well, you are your own judge but this anti-sugar message that we are getting is right. We, as a population eat too much sugar. But don’t you love it how some so called ‘experts’ compare Coca-Cola to fruit juice? I like to compare fake stuff like soft drinks to the crappier versions of juice, not the real fresh stuff where you have literally juiced a fruit. I see social media messages all the time that read something like this ‘The 5 foods that you should NEVER eat.’ I almost fall off my chair when the food list includes things like corn and juice. Really, there’s nothing else that a person ‘should NEVER’ eat? Yep, that’s it, we are all getting fat because we eat too much corn and drink juice all day. Hardly, people! Let’s get real.
Now, perhaps for some of us, the kilojoule intake in juice may be on the high side, but let’s get this all balanced out. Now water is always a number one fluid, but if you are struggling to get some awesome nutrients into your day due to ‘lack of time’ on one particular day (perhaps not every day) and you can pick yourself up a small (not American sized) fresh juice then I say you have made a good choice. I just wouldn’t do this every day but I wouldn’t have a burger every day either. Mix it up. That’s the key. If you do, you will struggle to overload on any type of food. Also remember that the current dietary recommendations are that we eat more vege’s than fruit so include vege’s in your juice where you can.
5 questions you should ask when trying to unravel the confusing messages:
- Is the food made from Mother Nature?
- Am I having this too often?
- Am I having a healthy portion size or is it too generous?
- Is the message focused on cutting out healthy food groups or fake foods?
- What are the credentials of the people sending the message?
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’. Visit www.thefibusymum.com.au