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Do you remember the days when fruit juice was considered healthy? Moms packed juice boxes in their kids’ lunches. People invested in expensive juicers to make fresh juice every morning. Health nuts did juice fasts to lose weight and improve their energy levels.
Unfortunately, fruit juices lost their gleam when everyone realized they have more in common with soda than actual fruit because of the amount of sugar and calories they contain.
But I for one still enjoy a glass of orange juice with breakfast on occasion. Sometimes I have sparkling apple cider on holidays. I’ll even indulge in a glass of cranberry juice from time to time. Everything in moderation, right?
However, if you’re like me and still relish a glass of fruit juice every now and again, there’s something you should know. And it may prompt you to give up juice drinking for good…
A new investigation from Consumer Reports shows that not only does fruit juice give you an (un)healthy dose of sugar and calories, it supplies a heaping serving of heavy metals too.
There are heavy metals hiding in all popular juice brands
Consumer Reports recently tested 45 popular fruit juices, including apple, pear, grape and fruit juice blends. Their findings were alarming…
There were measurable levels of heavy metals in every single one.
Consumer Reports’ scientific research team tested the juices for inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Every product contained at least one of these heavy metals (except for mercury, which wasn’t in any of them).
Even worse, 21 (almost half!) of the samples had high enough heavy metal content to make researchers question their safety for daily consumption.
As you probably know, heavy metal exposure comes with a lot of side effects, including a higher risk for kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, learning disabilities, and cancer.
Consumer Reports’ researchers said that five of the tested juices contained enough heavy metals to threaten the health of adults if they drank four ounces per day, and five more contained enough heavy metals to threaten the health of adults if they drank eight ounces per day.
But all this becomes even scarier when you consider who most fruit juices are targeted toward — children.
Heavy metals harm children at much smaller doses than adults. And Consumer Reports researchers found at least seven juices that contained enough heavy metals to harm children who drank half a cup per day.
What to do when you’re jonesin’ for juice
So, daily juice drinking is clearly out of the question. But what about the occasional glass of fruit juice?
Well, the first thing to remember is that fruit juice isn’t the only source of heavy metals in your life. Unfortunately, you’re exposed to heavy metals in foods, water, air, beauty products, furniture, prescription drugs and more.
So, even though drinking juice here and there may not seem like a big deal, it’s a source of heavy metals that you could easily cut out.
And in case you’re wondering if you can skirt around the issue by buying healthier juice brands, the answer is… probably not. Researchers tested a few healthier fruit juice options (like fruit juices from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Honest Kids) and they still contained heavy metals.
So, what’s the solution?
Well, your simplest (and safest) bet is to eat fruit and drink water (or fruit-infused water!) and save fruit juice for the rarest and most special occasions.
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