When it comes to optimizing your health, the adage that best applies is, “If it is too good to be true…”

And when something is too good to be true, that often suggests in health circles that over the long run, (chronically), it does nothing, or it is potentially damaging to the body. Enter: juices, juicing, and sweet sodas.

We may need to question the wisdom of drinking juice or even having sodas. We all know that soda is bad for us and is a non-food. Let’s move that off the table. Enough has been said about how bad they are. Here, I want to focus almost entirely on JUICES.

Over the past decade JUICING has become a fad and for it a billion dollar industry. People are doing it for many reasons, but one major reason is to help optimize their health. Are they optimizing their health? Spolier alert: likely NOT.

Let’s start with a bit of calm reflection about Nature herself.

Nature did not intend humans to separate juice from the fibrous components and thereby to ingest only the juice. If she did, our grocery stores would be stocked with two-compartment fruits and vegetables alongside the GMO and organic ones. Grocery stores are not because no such thing is available, other than coconuts.

Nature doesn’t make two-sack fruits and vegetables and nature never intended humans to make the choice to separate juice from its fiber.  Nature provided fiber to make our bodies wrestle with getting the juice from the fruit and vegetables to SLOW DOWN the absorption of the juice. She must have had a good reason. Indeed.

When FRUCTOSE is ingested it is rapidly absorbed by the body and requires a spike of insulin to handle, moderate and process it either into energy or into fat.

Here’s just one conclusion from a recent study, hot off the press:  “We demonstrated that,…fructose intake increased triglycerides and abdominal fat deposition, and caused insulin resistance…interstitial fat deposition and fibrosis in liver.” [Source: “Chronic fructose intake accelerates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the presence of essential hypertension.” by Lírio, Forechi, Zanardo, Batista, Meira, Nogueira, Mill, Baldo.  Journal of diabetes and its complications.2016 Jan-Feb;30(1):85-92.Epub 2015 Oct 19. ]

By the way, “insulin resistance” is what takes us into what we commonly call “diabetes”. If diabetes is induced by our diets, which it more frequently is, then it is referred to as “Type-2 Diabetes”.

In another study where researchers used fructose to spike the drinking water of rats, comes this warning: “We conclude that… 8-week consumption of FDW, [fructose drinking water], 20% leads to NAFLD, [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease],  likely via mitochondrial structural alteration.”  [Source: “Fructose-Drinking Water Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Ultrastructural Alteration of Hepatocyte Mitochondria in Male Wistar Rat.” by  Mamikutty, Thent, Haji.  Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:895961. Epub 2015 Jul 26. ]

Just to make this Nugget absolutely clear, let me borrow a comment directly from an expert on cardiovascular and heart disease: “The LEADING CAUSE of non-alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver: FRUCTOSE.” [Source: Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D.]

If THAT doesn’t make you want to chuck, instead of chug, your glass of juice or those delicious soft drinks sweetened with fructose, try this…

“To reduce the burden of CHD, [chronic heart disease],  guidelines should focus particularly on reducing intake of concentrated sugars, specifically the fructose-containing sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup in the form of ultra-processed foods and beverages.”  [Source: “The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease.” by DiNicolantonio, Lucan, O’Keefe.  Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Nov 13. pii: S0033-0620(15)30025-6. 2015.11.006. [Epub ahead of print]

Regarding the impact of fructose on heart disease. Let me paraphrase Dr. Esselstyn: …one of the “foods” that, injures, imperils and compromises one or more of the three components that protect our cardiovascular system, is FRUCTOSE.

None of liver disease, atherosclerosis, chronic heart disease, even obesity, suddenly pop up. These are CHRONIC diseases. You develop them over a relatively long period of time and may be contributing to them by drinking juices.

JUICE just might be helping to shorten your life.

(1)- Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. M.D.    Dr. Esselstyn mentions endothelial cells, HDL cholesterol, enthothelial progenitor cells.