Monday, January 12, 2009

Badvertising: Cholesterol Lowering Orange Juice

"What's not to love", the ad asks.

How about the 22lbs worth of OJ calories you'll have to drink per year to get the 12% reduction in LDL found in the Minute Maid funded study looking at this fortified OJ? No? Then how about the 76 cups of sugar you'd consume that year from the OJ. That's 38.5lbs of sugar by the way.

You think maybe, just maybe, drinking 22lbs of OJ calories and 76 cup fulls of sugar per year might have some negative health outcomes?

What's that? You're asking about those folks who already drink two glasses of OJ per day and that a straight swap's a good thing.

I suppose it would be.

Do you think maybe cutting out the 22lbs a year of juice and 76 cups of sugar altogether would be a better thing?

What's that? You're asking about the person with the healthy weight who's drinking two glasses of juice per day? It'd be good for them right?

Sure, 76 cups of sugar a year never hurt anybody, right?

[Calculation wise: 48grams of sugar per 2 cups of OJ x 365 days a year / 229grams of sugar per cup]

Bookmark and Share


  1. Anonymous2:55 pm

    Hi Dr. Freedhoff,

    You've spoken negatively about orange juice before, and I am confused. In your opinion, are all orange juices created the same? I understand that it's better to eat your fruits than to drink them. But I wondered if the ingredients list makes a difference. I tend to purchase orange juice with only one ingredient - juice squeezed from oranges - rather than a juice from concentrate, which has an ingredients list that usually starts out like "water, high fructose corn syrup, orange juice from concentrate, FD&C Yellow..."

    The same goes for all varieties of juices - I purchase only those with very short (1-3 items) ingredients lists. Is this better than purchasing juices from concentrate? Or are they all just sugar-loaded water?


  2. Hi Roxanne,

    Yup, I'm from the juice is juice school.

    Me personally, I don't drink the stuff.

    I tend to ask this question about juice (any kind) - if you took a glass of pure spring water and to it added the vitamins and minerals of a glass of juice and then added in 5-10 teaspoons of sugar, do you think it'd be a healthy drink?

    If you answered no, then unless you love juice I'd do exactly what you suggested - eat your fruits, don't drink them.


  3. I actually love orange juice, but stopped drinking it several years ago as I have chronic migraine and the 10 oz glass of orange juice I was drinking each morning was a potential trigger I didn't need.

    Also, isn't orange juice particularly high in sugar content, even among fruit juices?

  4. Hi Debor,

    Among juices, orange's sugar content's probably pretty much average.

    Highest I've seen is for grape juice (double OJ).

  5. Let's put this into better perspective with respect to the sugar content. One serving of orange juice is 1/2 a cup (4oz). This amount of orange juice contains same amount of sugar as one medium orange (15 grams of sugar). Therefore, if you are drinking 1/2 a cup of OJ in the morning with your bran flakes you are not consuming any more sugar than you would if you were eating a medium orange with your bran flakes.

    It is not necessary to avoid juices, however, it is necessary to control quantitites. 1/2 a cup is not a lot.

  6. Anonymous11:31 pm

    You're all morons that don't know science.