Updated: Jul 30, 2022
Today’s newspaper headline – fruit juice and sugary drinks linked to increased cancer risk.
The new study, published in the BMJ, analysed data from 101,257 people who were aged 42 on average at the start of the study and were typically followed up for five years.
- People consuming just under 200ml on average of a sugar-sweetened drink or fruit juice each day had an 18 per cent increased risk of all types of cancer
- Among women, researchers found a 22 per cent increased risk of breast cancer
- No link between diet drinks containing sweetener and an increased risk of cancer
However, further large scale research studies are called for as these results show an ASSOCIATION and could not prove that sugary drinks definitely caused cancer.
FRUIT JUICE PRO’S:
- Contains vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that are good for health
- Vitamin C can increase the amount of iron that the body absorbs from plant sources, the non-haem iron. Hence, drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C while you’re eating high-iron foods can increase your body’s absorption.
FRUIT JUICE CONS:
- If you’re watching your weight, fruit juice is high in sugary calories (being overweight is definitely linked with a higher risk of at least 13 different cancers)
- When fruit is juiced, the fibre is removed and the sugar content is released much more quickly into the blood stream causing a sugar spike (this is not good for health in general)
ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED DRINKS:
- Little or no calories (if your goal is to reduce your total calorie intake)
- The majority will not cause a blood sugar spike
- They can be VERY sweet and this simply keeps the body craving more sweet tastes
- Some early studies in animals have indicated that some artificial sweeteners can have a detrimental effect on the 'good' bacteria in our gut
- Sugar alcohol sweeteners e.g. Xylitol, Mannitol and Sorbitol can cause digestive upset in some
As part of a healthy, balanced and nourishing diet we should all be limiting our intake of sugary drinks (this includes fruit juice).
- Infuse water with cucumber, mint, orange, lemon or orange
- Crush some fresh or frozen berries in the bottom of a glass and add still or sparkling water
- Make up a herbal tea like ‘very berry’ flavour and drink it cold
- If you are having fruit juice try diluting it with a bit of water to reduce the sugar load
- Drinking fruit juice with a meal (rather than by itself) will slow sugar release and absorption, helping to keep blood sugar levels steady 👍🏼