When discussing sources of “hidden sugars” with my patients I find that they are often very surprised at my position on orange juice. Essentially, I have taken it off the table. Frequently, the response I get is, “But what about the vitamin C?”
The reality of the situation is that yes, a glass of orange juice does indeed contain some vitamin C, but that fact hardly outweighs the fact that O.J. is just loaded with sugar. A single 12 ounce glass of O.J. contains an incredible 9 teaspoons of sugar, about the same as a 12 ounce can of Coke! This equates to 36 grams of carbs, about half of what you should consume in a day.
Let’s do a little math. If a person were to drink just one glass of orange juice each day, that would mean that he or she would be consuming an extra 3,285 teaspoons (close to 70 cups) of sugar in a year or about 53,000 extra calories.
This likely translates to unwanted weight gain., and as we’ve just learned from a study published last week, sugar consumption worsens blood pressure and cardiovascular risk markers, even in the absence of weight gain.
So if you’re concerned about vitamin C, sleep easy knowing that you’re probably getting enough in your multivitamin. The cost to your health from the sugar load in a glass of orange juice should justify your decision to opt out.