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TheDailyMeal: 8 ‘Healthy Drinks’ That Are Actually Terrible for You

Store-Bought Orange Juice

We know, that bright glass of orange juice every morning seems pretty harmless — until you start digging deeper. The history of orange juice is quite surprising: orange juice wasn’t a mainstay in the American diet until the 1950s. OJ from concentrate was first introduced to World War II soldiers, who needed extra vitamin C — and orange farmers needed to get a surplus of oranges off their hands, reports the Los Angeles Times. When orange juice became pasteurized (and easy to sell, like cartons of milk), it became a gold mine.

However, commercially produced orange juice contains more than just nutrients. A book, "Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice," revealed that companies will often add in chemicals and flavors back into OJ during the pasteurization process, just to make it that much more appealing to the taste buds. While those are usually heavily guarded trade secrets, one popular flavoring agent added back in is ethyl butyrate, with the added scent of pineapple, to make it sweeter. Oh, that’s appealing. The Florida Department of Citrus fought back on some of those claims back in 2011 to the Huffington Post, saying that they simply take the "orange aroma, orange oil from the peel, and pulp" that’s separated from the juice and add it back in after pasteurization to enhance the flavor.

And again, it all comes down to sugar: one study in 2008 found that drinking just one glass of orange juice per day increased a person’s risk for diabetes by 24 percent. It’s no secret that OJ and other juices can make blood sugar levels rise — it’s even recommended for diabetics crashing with low blood sugar levels as a way to get them back up.

(Credit: Flickr/ bredgur)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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