I had a discussion with a friend of mine. He claimed that (processed) fruit juices from any organization (say Tropicana) are not at par with naturally occurring fruits, rather they are worse. He said that

Drinking fruit juice would cause it to be digested suddenly which would give a spike in blood sugar causing insulin to store it and making you hungry again. The point I am making is that the amount of glucose it will give you will not be equal to the amount of hunger it will kill. So even though you get the same amount of energy from a fruit juice and fruit, fruit will kill more hunger

But, AFAIK, there may be an argument about the negatives of processed food (or fruit juices), but polysaccharide breakdown has little to do with it. Whether I take one fructose molecule or two sucrose molecules or 4 glucose molecules doesn't change the molarity of glucose being absorbed by our bodies through digestion. How long it takes to break down the molecules into simple glucose doesn't affect total energy absorbed. After absorption, it does not matter how nor where the nutrients come from, the body maintains homeostasis and will handle everything just fine. So I think his "constant supply of energy" claim is fallacious. Also, Sugars in our diet go quickly into the bloodstream, which is great for athletes needing a quick boost in energy. However, it messes up homeostasis and the body will have to suddenly make a lot of insulin. That is the only problem with that, and that is the sole reason people are recommended to not do that.

Also, he cited this and this news report to strengthen his claim that processed fruit drinks in general and as a whole, are bad than original fruits (added with preservatives or lack thereof).

My question is, is he correct? Because I had the belief that an ounce of orange juice from Tropicana would have more or less the same amount of nutrients an orange (of same quantity) will contain.

1 Answer 1


Broadly yes,

You lose most of the fibre present in the fruit, fibre is important for digestion and likely has other benefits (http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1141.aspx?categoryid=51), it also helps slow the absorption of the sugar in the fruit as the gut cannot digest fibre.

The vitamin/mineral compositions also change in processing and storage, the process of making fruit juices is surprisingly involved, including artificial dyes, aromas and colours (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/100-percent-orange-juice-artificial_n_913395.html) this will have an effect on the nutritional breakdown of the juice, but this does depend on the type of juice and the processing its had, so a fresh smoothie with the pulp is probably better than more processed juices which may have added sugar as well.

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    The second paragraph is entirely dependent on jurisdiction. Here e.g. if it's labeled as fruit JUICE it can't have additives.
    – jwenting
    Oct 14, 2021 at 12:21

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