Why Do We Tend to Go Overboard with Beverages?
During my lunch hour, I visited the Westwood farmer’s market. What struck me funny was that the vendors of juices outnumbered the vendors of fruit and vegetables. Are so many people convinced that juices are the way to go that they tend to ignore whole fruits and vegetables.
The key word is “whole.” You know, of course, that the “whole” fruit or vegetable is more nutritious than the juice made from it. As a diabetic, I am very conscious that the process of making juice concentrates the sugars and usually leaves out the fiber. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health:
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
And since diabetes is probably one of the fastest growing diseases in America, we should re-evaluate our preference for juices. As for myself, I usually go for water, unsweetened iced tea, or mineral water. Tonight, I’m taking home three beautiful white peaches—and no juice.
Are They Really As Healthy As People Think?
Omigosh, that photo caption is almost pure clickbait! The point I am trying to make is that fruit juices are one of those categories of foods that are almost universally thought to be good for you.
Except for one thing: They concentrate their one ingredient which is not so good for you, namely sugar, and throw out the fiber that your body needs far more. This goes back to that mantra of “quick energy” that used to be claimed for most sugary beverages going back to the 1960s.
To the youth of America, fiber is not only boring but decided unsexy. It seems to be associated exclusively with the old people’s bowel movements. Actually more important is that the fiber keeps the pancreas from being bombarded by an excess of sugar. According to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, they act to form complex carbohydrates:
These carbohydrates have more complex chemical structures, with three or more sugars linked together (known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides). Many complex carbohydrate foods contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, and they take longer to digest – which means they have less of an immediate impact on blood sugar, causing it to rise more slowly.
At a time when a whole generation seems to be headed into the maws of Type II Diabetes, it’s probably a good idea to minimize the impact of sugar on one’s diet—regardless of the promise of “quick energy.” So drink water, coffee, or tea instead.