Soda vs Juice

Updated on September 05, 2013
C.. asks from Columbia, MO
28 answers

Sorry to highjack bumblebee's post.... but all the comments insinuating that juice is better than soda has me confused.

Juice has virtually the same sugar count, and the nutritional benefits to juice are slim. Every nutritionist I've ever encountered says it's waaaaay better for you to eat the orange than to drink the orange juice (unless you are pressing your own, which I don't think people are doing per the other post). But the general consensus seems to be that store bought juice (even 100% juice) is just as bad for you as soda.

In fact - do you know who owns Tropicana? PEPSICO.

I compared the labels and did a quick google search - site after site after site essentially says juice is just as bad for you as soda. Yes, there are minimal additional benefits - like vitamin C, but they get that from other sources in the diet if they're eating even a halfway balanced diet.

Yes, some soda has caffeine. But, if you're talking Sprite vs Orange Juice there is virtually no difference.... or I guess I would say not enough of a difference that I would care. I guess you could argue that there are chemicals in soda. But there are chemicals in almost everything we eat, many processed juices included.

So, I don't get it. Thoughts?

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answers from Chicago on

You really think giving my kids orange juice and %100 apple juice diluted with a bit of water that is made from Michigan apples is like giving them Sprite ? That's crazy . Should I give them a glass of water with 20 sugar packets instead of the juice ?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We don't do soda or juice unless someone is just craving apple or orange juice which happens on occasion with my youngest son and my husband.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I agree with you. What I found laughable about a lot of the responses on the other post were the "my kids drink water, milk, and lemonade but NEVER, EVER have evil soda" ones. LOL any idea how sugar-laden and acidic lemonade is? Talk about junk! Lemonade has more sugar and calories than soda does, ounce for ounce, and some brands have the same acidic ph of cola. Just goes to highlight how uninformed we can all be.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I think cake is much better for my kids to eat at lunch than pie.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I didn't read Bumblebee's post, but here is what my thoughts are on juice vs. soda:

Juice can have just as many calories as soda. Yes, it's better to eat the actual fruit than juice, mainly b/c to get a cup of juice from fruit takes a LOT of that particular fruit, so its again very high in calories. Drinking doesn't fill you and you still eat and wind up consuming more calories than you should.

Most juice has added sugar. If you look on the box it usually only has between 10-35% fruit juice the rest is sugar and water and therefore not as good for you as you would think.

Now what I've been told by my doctor and from reading articles is that you want 100% pure juice ( well most have water otherwise they are EXTREMELY expensive due to the amount of fruit used to make it.) No sugar added and no artificial flavors or colors.
You have to read the labels b/c even some "100%" juice has sugar etc added to it.

Again you want to dilute it due to the high calories, but if your only concern is sugar etc it is fine. You want to be mindful of where the juice is manufactured b/c regulations vary from place to place as to what can be added and what is deemed safe.

Also even if you make it at home some of the benefits of a particular fruit are lost when making the juice and you should always have the fresh version in your diet. I know there are some juice machines that say you can put the whole fruit in a not lose any of the nutrients. I.E. Apples are a good source of fiber, but you need to eat the skin to get that fiber. In making juice you often peel the apple then press it, thereby losing the fiber.

Also what we buy in the store is filtered and loses a lot of its benefits, fresh pressed apple juice is not that clear! You can however buy some that has not been filtered.

Again, you never want to drink all your calories or get your nutrients in that form.

You never get any benefits from soda and I believe that is why juice is better. I don't do a lot of either, we drink a lot of water. Water that has been filtered to remove as much heavy metals, pharmaceuticals etc as possible. When we drink juice we use portion control, meaning a cup 8 oz, sometimes less,but never a large cup 12-24 oz and think its one serving.

Sugar in and of itself it not bad, all fruit has sugar its a matter of simple vs complex. However to a diabetic sugar from a piece of fruit or from cake can have dire consequences. I just learned that from a diabetic friend so I think moderation is the key.

I do not make my own juice. I will one day, haven't decided on a juicer I want. I think everything needs to be in moderation. I also think you can always find someone to support your beliefs or some study so everything has to be taken with a grain of salt.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I guess I see 2 differences.
1) HFCS vs natural sugars, which another post covers well.
2) setting up lifelong habits. I don't know many adults who drink juice all day - at some point we move past juice. Yet, I do know adults that drink soda to the exclusion of almost any other drink, except maybe a morning cup of coffee. So to me, I don't buy soda now to try to encourage healthier lifelong habits. Who knows if it will work, but I can try.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You are comparing two entirely separate products.

If I squeeze an orange I will get 100% orange juice with its' natural sugar,fructose. If I squeeze a can of Sprite...I will get Sprite and its' added artificials sugars and chemicals.

I will let my kids eat an orange...I will let them drink the juice from that whole food.

It all depends on the juice you are buying...some are 100% fruit. Others are filled with added sugars, corn syrup and other chemicals. So, yes, there wouldn't be much difference between your comparison of juice vs. soda pop.

It is all common sense. Water is best. !00% juice is just fine but no more than a specific amount of your caloric intake...and soda pop in moderation.

Just some of my thoughts..but then again I am no expert.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't get the "soda is the devil" mentality...for the same reasons you listed above. The only really good for you drink is water. We drink a lot in our house. But we do have juice for the kids, they will have a glass per day.

We do not keep soda in the house, but it's allowed when we are out sometimes.

There are so many things that are "bad" for us, so it alway shocks me when people latch on to one thing and say how horrible it is, without looking at everything we put in our bodies.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Fruit juice is a real food, not a manufactured one like soda.

My main issue with soda is that most of it is made with HFCS, and NOT sugar. I can taste the difference, and my body can tell the difference. There are a few sodas made with real sugar, and I buy those when I buy soda. My favorite soda - Abita root beer.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

My son is allowed a small portion of 100% juice (usually organic grape, apple or mango-peach) as a treat. I consider it a treat because like you said, it's practically just sugar with some vitamin c. Of course whole fruit is better but that is why juice is a treat.

Soda contains high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, preservatives etc. that is why I never offer it to him. I also would not offer him kool-aid because of all the chemicals and coloring. I try to feed him real food vs lab food the majority of the time.

I don't view soda as the one devil. Most of the products in the grocery store are just as bad.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

nutritionists don't measure everything. it's like those stupid ads monsanto ran for a while with derpy smiling people saying 'experts have measured the effects of high fructose corn syrup and it doesn't fark up your system any worse than sugar! eat high fructose corn syrup! sugar is sugar.'
and in a limited test that measures blood glucose levels, they're exactly right.
but we evolved on this planet along with the foods we eat, and when we eat them in their most natural form, there are a host of enzymes and nutrients that work together to process it all efficiently and correctly. white sugar and corn syrup just can't compete.
juice doesn't compare to eating the whole fruit. sugar is really not the same thing as naturally occurring sucrose. and that's even before you get into the whole pesticide and chemical thing.
i'm not thrilled at kids getting pumped full of sugar, which is a systemic poison. i'm even less thrilled at having them eat actual poison. and that squicks me out about juices for more than the sucrose.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it's just like the "my kids don't drink Kool-Aid" - I freely admit - mine do. Do I know they are "empty calorie drinks"? Yes. I do. However, my kids know a thing called MODERATION....

Soda? My kids drink soda. They MAYBE have one or two a WEEK.

Why do I allow it? I drink Coke. I'm not going to tell my kids they can't have something that I can....that doesn't float in my house. If I tell them - "it's not good for you." I KNOW they will turn around and say - "Well, WHY are YOU drinking it then?" Only answer i have is the truth - I like the taste...I tried to quit and will try again....

My kids get HEALTHY meals....snacks and such...I'm not going to stress over kool-aid or soda. My kids know about them. They are NOT told they can't have them - so if they go to a friend's house whose mom DOES allow it - they don't go nuts...which is what can happen. They have learned MODERATION....

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We have a diet that we keep as much High Fructose corn suryp out of my kdis as possible.

Sprite & other citrus drinks have BVO- cancer causing chemical..

For those reasons we keep soda out of my kids diet.

We do fresh made lemonade, water, juice(apple or cranberry mostly) & fruit tea. I do not do koolaid because of the Dyes- that is also restriced in our diet. So my kids treat is juice with no dyes, and no HFCS.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

IMO, juice is only better if it is 100% juice because the sugar is naturally occurring and not added in the form of HFCS. We don't eat or drink anything with corn that isn't organic or says Non-GMO.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Our very experienced pediatrician, a mom of three herself, has always said this:

Give kids only these drinks and in this order or preference:

1. Water. (A recent study showed that most kids in the US are constantly a little dehydrated: "According to a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, more than 70% of preschool children never drink plain water."

2. Milk. Has protein and calcium and vitamin D, which our bodies don't get a lot of otherwise.

3. Calcium-fortified orange juice.

Sprite versus OJ? At least OJ has calcium and vitamin D (if fortified) as well as vitamin C; does Sprite have any of those? Nope.

The issue with juice, though, is that parents let kids drink far too much of it.

Our pediatrician says that juice, especially apple juice, it seems "healthy" and kids love it, but she says it's just empty calories and it's better to have the kid eat a real apple instead to get the fiber. Other juices, even 100 percent juice, are not as good as eating the fruits. Sure, there are some vitamins in those juices but they just aren't worth encouraging kids' sweet tooths by giving them tons of "healthy" juice as young kids. She says that kids really do learn to crave sweets by having sweets available and given to them early on, and that includes juices when overused.

One form of sweet is soda, which also makes kids feel very full -- due to the carbonation -- and kids who feel full of EITHER juice or soda aren't going to eat the other things they should be eating for their health.

So the problem that you're not seeing is this: The juice itself isn't an issue as much as the fact that parents rely on juices to give their kids nutrition. The reliance means kids get WAY too much juice which should instead be drunk in great moderation and replaced with real fruit and water. That's the reason that sites are telling you "juice is as bad as soda." It's not as bad, objectively, but it's incredibly overused by parents because kids crave the sweetness and parents can justify giving it because it seems healthy.

We do give our daughter (now 12) some fruit juice (Fruitables 100 percent juice boxes) at times in her lunches, and we only started that when she was older. But otherwise -- water and more water, milk, and OJ (and not too much OJ).

We don't keep soda in the house. I like a Coke every now and then but I'm not going to keep them in the house because I don't drink them often enough to make it worth buying them and having them here.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The best advice I've ever heard is to treat all sugary drinks like a DESSERT.
You wouldn't have 2 or 3 desserts a day, so IF you have a soda with dinner? Hope you enjoyed it because it was your dessert! :)
Soda is different than juice because it has ZERO nutritional value.
Juices, while full of sugar, have some nutritional value (vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A). Soda has ONLY sugar. Empty calories.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Wild Woman said it best for me. It's about moderation.

I didn't grow up on soda, it wasn't something my mom could afford, but as an adult who can buy her own, I sure do, and probably more then I should.

My kids have always had access to it, but they drink more water and tea then anything. We have unsweetened tea and sweetened tea, and unlimited access to well water. Which out does any water coming from a city tap, taste better too.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think it's kind of like the message that you should never, ever drink a single drop of alcohol while you are pregnant. The "rule" is there for people who would drink a six pack a day if they weren't told it was bad. Is the very best thing absolutely none- sure. Will any lasting harm come from 1 glass of wine per month while you are pregnant? Likely, no. Should you fill your kids' stomachs three meals a day with Hawaiian Punch and congratulate yourself on your excellent parenting skills? Probably not.
If someone is going to give their kids one or the other, juice is better. It's not ideal, it's not great, it has flaws, but if it is A or B, there is a better choice and the better choice is the thing that has some, small redeeming nutritional value. If the choice is juice, soda, or water, of course water is best. It's like saying what's better, McDonalds or Subway and then deciding that the best answer is feed your kids organic quinoa instead. YES that is clearly better, but if the options are McDonalds or Subway, I will make the best choice of the two and get my kids a veggie sub from Subway rather than a Happy Meal.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My, don't we all feel so superior for our perfect parenting choices! My kids just had Lucky Charms for breakfast.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Moderation is the key. Neither is great which is why the majority of the time, my kids have water or milk. But we do allow occasional soda as I mentioned in bumblebees post. I never buy juice, except for the juice boxes/capri sun's for their school lunches. And yes, I know they are not real juice. All of our kids are thriving, lean, and healthy, even with an occasional treat.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I mean lets be real...water is really the best thing for anyone to drink and even then you'll find some people will argue on the type of water.

Whether one is better nutritionally for you or is known that neither are good for your teeth.

Moderation really is the key to these things and lots of things.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I somewhat agree except I also limit juice and try to only let them have no sugar added juice. I have to think soda has more chemicals too. And there aren't chemicals in almost everything we eat... Not organic fruits or vegetables or meats... My husband says our stomachs have so much acid that soda doesn't matter but I remember my sister's boyfriend could only get his car started sometimes by pouring Coke on his battery cables to chip away at the corrosion at the point of wire contact. Something like that. Apple juice wouldn't have done the same trick. Coke has chemicals that juice doesn't. Also, the calories in a regular Coke are insanely high. Maybe not higher than juice but they are completely empty calories and I'll come back to the chemicals thing. Say you have them drink diet soda to avoid the calories - that's artificial sweetners. I've seen juice and jello that say no sugar and I find them almost as bad as soda to give to kids bc of the artificial sweetners. Ever see kids who drink Mountain Dew btw? Their teeth??? Watch a documentary on Appalacia where they let their kids drink Mountain Dew. Their teeth are rotten. How can it not be any worse than juice then? I had soda at my aunt's house as a treat growing up and very little otherwise. I think it helps build a good dietary foundation. I know people who switch from diet soda to water and they quickly lose weight. I believe soda's have added sodium. I do now drink a soda a day typically. I'm an adult and it's my vice. I let my kids who are both under 10 have little sips. Luckily they don't really like it. But I'd never let them drink soda regularly. I also don't give them much juice and if I do, it's a treat or the pressed apple juice which is no sugar added. I just think it starts an unhealthy habit if they drink soda as kids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I agree both are bad, soda UNLESS you are actually drinking FRESH juice that you juiced yourself ... and are drinking on the spot.. However, orange juice whether fresh or not is still high in sugar.. so I might avoid that if I want to lose weight or if I had insulin issues and or too much belly fat..
but yeah.. soda... juice you buy in the store... nothing good for you. it's a scam. drink water..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

People just continue to think juice is "good" for them, for whatever reason, I guess because it comes from fruit (?) I don't know. Sugar is sugar, even fruit sugar, it fills you up on empty calories and sticks to your teeth. In our house we put juice in smoothies (with whole fruit, plain yogurt, etc.) but we rarely drink it straight.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My problem per say isn't the sugar but the carbonation.

If my children were to drink either juice or soda...I would choose juice hands down over soda because those tiny bubbles are hard on your kidneys.

Are either really needed in your

I don't buy soda, but I do buy juice...and I know it is a sugary not for true nutritional value beverage...but we all need a treat now and then...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

ha ha - ditto for Aileen's response. Made my day =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Not sure what you mean... I think they are both bad, err, have no redeeming qualities.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think this fad that says juice is bad for people just want them to buy something else.


A SERVING OF JUICE IS 4-8 OUNCES PER DAY depending on the age of the person drinking the juice.

It's not supposed to be drank all day. It's a single serving sort of thing. With breakfast or a snack. Not a full glass with a meal.

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