Orange juice isn’t “just as bad for you as Coke.” Don’t fall for that bullshit.
Somehow, this became a popular narrative. Especially in dieting circles, folks glanced at a nutrition label, noticed that the sugar and calorie content of the two drinks were similar and determined that they should be uttered in the same breath. This is pure nonsense. Even if OJ isn’t of the highest quality, it’s still the superior option. Consider Coke the “sugar drink” in the study below from whfoods.com:
Seven healthy test subjects were given each of three drinks, two weeks apart: blood-orange juice containing 150 milligrams of vitamin C, fortified water containing 150 milligrams of vitamin C, and a sugar and water solution containing no vitamin C. Blood samples were collected immediately before the drink was consumed, then every hour for 8 hours, and finally 24 hours after consumption of each drink. Blood samples were exposed to hydrogen peroxide, and free radical damage to DNA was evaluated at 3 and 24 hours. Only when orange juice was consumed was any protective effect seen. After drinking orange juice, DNA damage was 18% less after 3 hours, and 16% less after 24 hours. No protection against DNA damage was seen after consumption of the vitamin C fortified drink or the sugar drink.
When folks make nutrition claims like, “choose lean, low fat meats,” we ask ourselves some internal questions: “does this make sense to me?” “would I like this to be true?” or “will this be easy for me?” We check the boxes in our minds and neglect to follow up with research. Rather, we reinforce the assumptions, and they become our truths. We then find like-minded individuals and celebrate when we share similar vantage points. The spread of this behavior is fast, and a once whispered hypothesis becomes the paradigm of a nation without science to support.
I have heard some extraordinarily intelligent men and women boldly state, “OJ is just as bad as soda.” That doesn’t make them any less knowledgeable or bright. They are human and mean something entirely different. The message is that OJ is high in sugar, and Coke is high in sugar. Those are facts.
Now, I am certainly not suggesting the consumption of low quality orange juice. Additionally, if given the choice, why not eat the organic orange over squeezing out the juice? From the New York Times:
Whole fruits, he explained, contain a bounty of antioxidants and healthful nutrients, and their cellular scaffolding, made of fiber, makes us feel full and provides other metabolic benefits… Fiber provides “its greatest benefit when the cell walls that contain it remain intact,” he said. Sugars are effectively sequestered in the fruit’s cells, he explained, and it takes time for the digestive tract to break down those cells. The sugars therefore enter the bloodstream slowly, giving the liver more time to metabolize them… “If we take a nutrient-centric approach, just looking at sugar grams on the label, none of this is evident,” Dr. Ludwig said. “So it really requires a whole foods view.”
I know, I know, you want a drink with breakfast. Drinking organic OJ in small quantities will not kill you. Nor will Coke. The former is still the healthier option, and that is indisputable and backed up by objective material.
Don’t fall for the BS,