The perfect healthy beverage for morning breakfast has to be “fruit juice” and with the abundance of flavors available in the market, they have become everyone’s favorite too.
The procedure of making processed juice includes canning, condensing, freezing, adding flavors, and a couple of additional steps, steps which are way different from natural juices. But do they taste as delicious as natural juices or do they compromise on something?
Tropicana - ‘A brand all about nutrition' touts:
1. The World's No.1 Juice Brand
2. Ready to serve fruit beverage with no added preservatives.
Nutrition claims: 100ml of juice contains
Energy - 48kcal, Sugars - 13g (including natural fruit sugars), Protein- 0.1g, Fat- nil
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Real Activ - ‘Discover good health naturally' touts:
1. 100% Juice
2. No added sugar and preservatives
3. Low in sodium
Variants: Orange, Carrot juice, Multi-fruit, Apple, Mixed Fruit Spinach & Cucumber Juice, Mixed Fruit Beetroot Carrot Juice and Real ActiV+ fiber variants.
Nutrition claims: 100ml of juice contains-
Energy - 48kcal, Natural sugars - 12g, Protein- nil, Fat- nil
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|Gluten-Free||Yes, Tropicana claims that.||Yes, as per their packaging details.|
|100% Natural||Clearly no. The ingredients include concentrated juice and added flavors which can’t be stated 100% natural.||Clearly no. The ingredients include concentrated juice and added flavors which can’t be stated 100% natural.|
|Added Sugar||Does not contain sugar but includes a concentrated source of (natural) sugar||No added sugar because added sugar is not permissible in 100% juice. According to a study, sucrose level was comparatively lower in Real active than Tropicana.|
|Pasteurized||Yes, flash pasteurized- A process to minimize heat exposure and retain the nutrition and flavors||Yes, pasteurized to maintain the shelf life.|
|Good for Urinary Tract Infections||When it comes to infections, it is advised to avoid any processed product. So, this won’t help either.||What you consume during the infection phase can help you get better. Choosing natural juice is way better than processed ones.|
|Good for Babies||Not really, since it only goes under flash pasteurization||According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these fruit juices provide no nutrition benefit to babies and hence should be avoided.|
|Good for Pregnancy||Not harmful but not helpful as well. Better to avoid.||Not as nutritious as a natural juice. Squeeze fresh juice instead.|
|Good for Diabetes||No. The high GI index of the fruit juice makes it bad for diabetic people.||No. The high GI index of the fruit juice makes it bad for diabetic people.|
As a Health Expert, here is my take on the above mentioned beverages. These juices which sell on the basis of good quality nutrition are fairly good when compared to fizzy drinks and other non-fruit beverages. The range is definitely appetizing, especially when they are tagged as natural and sugar-free. They can awaken our taste buds, making it a perfect refreshing drink at anytime in the day. They are indeed an "on-the-go" choice, keeping us hydrated at all times and offering the complete goodness of the juice.
But, as a layperson, we need to think about all the aspects before we buy any food available in the market. Some of the points to be taken care of -
• Tropicana claims to contain approximately 13g of sugar /100ml including the natural sugars.
• Both Tropicana and Real Activ claim to provide 1/5th of our vegetables and fruits daily requirement.
• Sodium content in Real Activ juice is slightly higher than Tropicana varieties. So, Tropicana claims to have a lower sodium content.
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• Talking about fiber, we know that the benefits are many! But the amount of fiber present in these juices is negligible. Instead, you should try natural pumpkin juice that is good for your health.
• The price of a 200ml juice pack ranges between Rs. 90 to to Rs.140..
To compete with, Dabur has recently launched Real ActiV+ Fiber. Yet, the amount of fiber that you get from whole fruits and vegetables cannot be obtained from any of these juices.
Be it Tropicana or Real juice, they can definitely complement your major meals, but do not replace them to fulfill the requirement of essential nutrients. Hence, for weight watchers, diabetics and people with heart ailments, all you need to do is - grab an apple, a piece of a melon or a bunch of grapes! This way, you will keep a check on the unnecessary sugars and calories that come with these drinks.
We all get distracted from the healthy path when it comes to our eating habits. Not sure what’s good for you and what’s not? Measure your macronutrient breakdown on The Wellness Corner app to know whether your intake was too high or low and if you need to exercise to shed those extra calories.