“A can of soda or a glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar!  »

Our editorial director of ELLE à table, ELLE Decoration and Art & Decoration, Danièle Gerkens, gave up sugar more than ten years ago as part of a book project “Zero sugar: my year without sugar” (Ed. I read). When we talk about sugar, we immediately think of cakes, cookies, and other desserts in which sugar is displayed in huge, flashing letters. When we enjoy a cake, we know that we are eating a sweet product – often fatty at the same time – this information is far from being hidden! But it's not always the case…

Among all the effects of sugar, there is a particularly harmful one linked to a very common food that few people think about: fruit juice! If eating raw fruit is a highly recommended reflex for their fiber, vitamins, etc., in the fruit juice version, the story is totally different. Explanations.

HER at the Table. – Can you tell us about fruit juices in relation to sugar consumption?

Danièle Gerkens. – On fruit, that's a real question. To understand, it is necessary to specify that our body contains glucose sensors. The latter, which is half of sucrose, is the basic sugar molecule, produced with sugar cane, beets, etc. All our cells have sensors, that’s how we function. FYI, 20% of the glucose we consume is used only by the brain, so as soon as we are below the average blood sugar threshold, our body panics.

On the other hand, we have zero fructose sensors in the body, not just one, nada. So when we eat fruit, we have a certain amount of fructose which enters the body with water and fiber. We will digest it by absorbing 15 to 20% of the quantity of fructose present in the fruit. On the other hand, and I remind you that fruit juices do not grow on trees, what is fruit juice? It is a fruit in which we have separated the fibers on one side and on the other the water, the fructose, and vaguely three vitamins. And it's the same thing whether the juice comes from a carton or whether it's squeezed at home every morning, it's exactly the same thing. There, all of a sudden, your body is faced with an insane amount of fructose!

HER at the Table. – You make the comparison between fruit juice and a famous soda.

DG – A glass of orange juice or apple juice has as much sugar in the form of fructose as in a can of soda. For example, in a can of Coke, you have the equivalent of 7 cubes of sugar or 35 g. In a fruit juice, you also have the equivalent of 35 g, 7 pieces of sugar, of fructose, that is to say the equivalent of 4 to 5 apples. Write down 4 to 5 apples or 4 to 5 oranges, eat them all at once, it's just not possible!

HER at the Table. – How does the body react?

DG – When you consume such a quantity of juice, your body suddenly finds itself faced with an enormous quantity of fructose. What is he doing ? There is only one organ in our body capable of processing what we don't have a sensor for, it's called the liver. There is an enzymatic cascade that I will spare you, and on arrival, it spits out triglycerides, that is to say fats which are not great, which we store in the stomach, and are the one of the main negative signals of worry in blood tests.

A test was done at the time by Michelle Obama, in an area of ​​the Bronx, I believe, Harlem. Fruit juice for breakfast had been distributed in a number of schools for children from poor families. After a year, the project was stopped because all these children had gained weight.

HER at the Table. – Why is the glass of fruit juice in the morning so anchored in habits?

DG – Fruit juice in the morning is not necessary, it was developed following the economic crisis of the 1930s in the United States, when orange producers in California and Florida no longer knew what to do with it. their fruits. So they invented bottling and made agreements with Hollywood to place fruit juice products, particularly at breakfast in films. And today, everyone believes that drinking a glass of fruit juice in the morning is good for your health! No, you'll just get bigger. Do you want fruit in the morning? Eat an apple. So fruit juices, from time to time, ideally cut with water but not daily.

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