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Canada's Food Guide may change its stance on whether juice counts as a serving of fruit

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Summary

Juice could get a demotion on Canada's Food Guide because of the all the naturally-occurring sugar it contains

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As much as we want to believe ketchup counts as a vegetable, we know it’s not true.

But what about downing a glass of juice to get a serving of fruit?

Despite all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, juice could be getting a big demotion in Canada’s Food Guide because of all the naturally-occurring sugar it contains.

A glass of apple or orange juice can have up to five teaspoons of sugar per cup and the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports there were hints at a recent obesity conference that Heath Canada would move away from considering juice as a whole fruit.

Dr. Hasan Hutchinson, head of the office of nutrition and health policy told the gathering “You won’t be seeing that anymore,” though Health Canada would only tell the National Post that it is “currently reviewing the evidence for our dietary guidance.”

But experts are divided on the benefits and dangers of juice.

Nutrition and fitness expert Elizabeth Applegate with UC Davis’ Nutrition Department says it doesn’t matter if sugar is naturally occurring or added, your body treats it the same way.

“Parents need to be aware of the quantity of calories that your child may be consuming from sweetened beverages, whether they are from natural sugars or something like a soft drink,” she tells the Life and Health Network, an American non-profit organization.

“The sugar is essentially the same. The body doesn’t know where it came from and it’s going to metabolize it the same way. That sugar in the fruit juice — or the sugar in the soft drink — can be converted into body fat and can contribute to obesity in children.”

However, some research has shown people who drink a moderate amount of juice — about eight ounces per day — had lower mean body mass indexes, lower waist circumferences, and fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.