Made with all natural ingredients!
100% Real Fruit Juice!
We see these kinds of claims on all sorts of food and beverage products. It sounds great healthy even to most people. If given the choice between a product with all natural ingredients and something else, it seems logical that a health-conscious person would go the all-natural route. Unfortunately, its nowhere close to that simple. Many foods that are as unhealthy as any corn-syrup packed candy hide behind the all-natural or real banners. For now, though, lets focus on fruit juice.
Fruit juice is used as a sweetener in all kinds of foods, including in some enteral feeding products. Using fruit juice, either from concentrate or fresh, is a way to add calories, replace fats and, of course, sweeten the taste of a product. But is it healthy used this way?
No. No. Absolutely not!
The sugar in fruit juice is fructose. Fructose, taken as fruit was intended (one piece at a time), can be healthy. But when taken in bulk it is extremely unhealthy. Fructose is metabolized almost exclusively in the liver and is largely turned into fat. The high levels of fructose present in some enteral feeding products and consumer foods serve to dramatically increase a persons blood-sugar and a diet of these extreme high-sugar foods put people at risk for type 2 diabetes.
For enteral feeding products in particular, there is absolutely no use for fruit juice as an ingredient other than lowering production costs for the maker. Fruit juice adds bulk and often appealing color to a product and it is much cheaper than other ingredients. While you may be getting real fruit juice, youre also getting an extremely unhealthy amount of sugar. If this is your sole means of nutrition, youre putting yourself at risk for obesity, diabetes and a myriad of potential heart, liver and kidney issues.
For more, please check out this blog from the Harvard Heart Letter.