Consuming 100 percent orange juice offers significant benefits over sweetened orange-flavored drinks and may even be better than water for blood sugar levels throughout the rest of the day.
In a new study, researchers at Toronto Metropolitan University examined the effect of consuming 100% orange juice compared to a sweetened orange-flavored drink and water on appetite, food intake and glycemic response in adults. The results are published in the specialist journal “Nutrients”.
Juices as a fruit substitute?
According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), at least two portions (250 grams) of fruit should be consumed daily and juices can occasionally serve as a substitute. Orange juice seems to be particularly suitable, but the juice should consist of 100 percent fresh fruit.
However, the reports about possible adverse effects of the fructose contained in the juice have caused uncertainty among many consumers. For example, a recent study concluded that fructose increases blood pressure and could therefore pose a health risk.
Effect on blood sugar examined
The research team has now examined the effect of 100 percent orange juice in comparison to water and a sweetened orange drink on 36 adults. To do this, the participants consumed 240 milliliters of each of the three test drinks in random order and at least five days apart.
Questionnaires were used to determine the subjective sweetness and taste sensation immediately after consuming the test drinks. The researchers then recorded the glycemic response, average appetite and subjective emotional state every 15 minutes for 60 minutes.
This was followed by lunch with pizza, during which the participants were asked to eat until they were full, and their food intake or quantity consumed (including calorie content) was recorded.
The researchers also recorded blood sugar concentrations over the rest of the day using a portable glucose meter and energy intake using a nutritional record.
Reduced blood sugar concentration
Compared to the sweetened orange drink, the participants consumed significantly fewer calories at lunch after 100% orange juice and, in relation to the carbohydrates consumed, the increase in blood sugar levels after 100% orange juice was significantly lower, according to the research team.
According to the experts, the blood sugar concentration over the rest of the day was lower after 100% orange juice than after the orange drink and water.
In summary, the researchers conclude that the consumption of 100% orange juice, especially compared to the orange drink, enables a higher calorie balance, a lower total daily energy intake and lower blood sugar concentrations throughout the day. (fp)