Is juice better than soda?

I believe all beverages can fit into one’s diet. And if I were to pick between the two, I would absolutely pick (100%) fruit juice over soda any day. But, I am not saying that I would recommend drinking excessive quantities of juice. Both beverages contain sugar. The sugar coming from the natural juice AND the sugar in the sugar-sweetened soda both contain gobs of calories, which may increase one’s risk of weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. I find that my patients tend to overdo it when it comes to consumption of liquid calories. I frequently counsel them to reduce beverages that are filled with sugar and focus mostly on drinking water or low sugar beverages (like Old Orchard’s Healthy Balance Juice). But when comparing soda to juice, at least (100%) fruit juice contains a few additional vitamins and minerals that are important to one’s overall health. Some juices (i.e. grape juice) may be beneficial in helping reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Cranberry juice can aid in reducing instances of urinary tract infections and cherry juice may help ease muscle soreness and improve memory. So, to summarize, I advise that people choose water as their number one beverage choice. If juice or soda is desired, I would suggest that 100% juice be the healthier choice over soda. But, remember that liquid calories add up fast so be sure to limit your consumption to a few glasses a day.

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