What’s the Deal with Juice? Is it Healthy, or Not?

PCOS BlogJuice is made from fruit, so it is usually a good source of vitamin C. However, juice is also high in sugar and it doesn’t have any of the healthy fiber that you find in whole fruit. Even if the sugar is “all natural” (like the sugar that is found in 100% juice), it still makes your blood sugar go up, which will raise your insulin levels. One of the goals of healthy eating for PCOS is to keep your insulin levels low.

Most nutritionists that work with girls that have PCOS encourage them to stay away from all sugary drinks such as juice, fruit drinks, soda, and sports drinks. If you are going to have sugar, it is usually better to eat it than to drink it for a couple of reasons. First, the amount of sugar in drinks is much higher than you might guess. For example, a 20 ounce bottle of soda has the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar in it, but an average size chocolate bar only has 8 teaspoons. Chocolate bars aren’t exactly “PCOS-friendly” either, but it is important to realize just how much sugar you are having when you drink a sugary beverage.

The other reason you should try to limit these drinks is that they are not as satisfying as solid foods. An 8 ounce cup of orange juice has more calories than an orange, but the orange will leave you feeling fuller after eating it, because you have to chew it and digest the fiber in it. When you eat lots of filling foods, you won’t be as hungry between meals, so you are less likely to overeat. So although having a sugary drink every once in a while isn’t the end of the world, it is best to have drinks that have no sugar in them such as water, flavored water, and seltzer. If you are craving a drink with flavor, diet juices, diet soda, and low calorie sports drinks (such as G2, Powerade Zero, Propel, and Vitamin Water 10) are “PCOS-friendly” choices, too.

For more information about sugar substitutes, check out our brand new health guide here.

-Nutritionist Kendrin