Image: Wait… what?

Wait... what?

Apparently you shouldn’t drink milk or juice because of all of that horrible sugar that gets added to them…

Which is why I say “wait… what?”

Welcome to the world of the holier-than-thou layman trying to be so enlightened and cool by creating something like this.

Basically, you can look at this graphic and know two things: It is misleading and it was probably created as a part of a sixth-grader’s science fair project.

It’s misleading because one, the little baggies of sugar?: not the same size. By showing different sized bags that all look full, you are tricking the viewers’ brains into misjudging the amount of sugar that is in each of these drinks, in a comparative sense. It seems like there is so much more sugar in milk and juice than there should be, when actually, if you put those quantities into the same baggy size as the Big Gulp, you would see that the actual comparable sugar amount is minimal.

Two, this suggests that all sugar is “equal”. This is simply not true. The sugars one finds in a Big Gulp, a soda, a sports drink, fruit punches, or even chocolate milk, is going to be of a different quality than that which is found in milk and 100% juice. The main difference is, one, it’s “added”, as in, not present at all in the base components of the liquid, and two, its “refined” in some fashion. It’s either refined sugar cane or worse yet, high fructose corn syrup.

I may not agree with the Paleopeeps across the board, but one thing that particular DIEt and many others have in common, is the idea that processed foods are bad. I agree, which is why I don’t think they should be a part of anyone’s diet (diet as in “the types and quality of food which a person’s entire eating repertoire consists of” not “that fad that will make me lose 10 pounds in a week”). That is the one thing about the paleo diet that makes sense: Our ancestors simply did not eat the processed, chemical laden food that we eat. So why does it seem natural and okay for us to be eating it?

Preservatives, food dyes, and processed sweeteners or flavoring or thickening agents have been normalized by the food industry. Just because we are being sold food that is FDA approved for consumption doesn’t mean that it is the best sort of food for humans.

But as far as the sugar content that’s just inherent to fruits or milk, it’s not really the same thing. Suggesting that fruit juice should be taken off the table is like suggesting fruit should be taken off the table because it has sugar and is thus bad for you.

As are all the vegetables that are “starchy.” Got to get rid of those completely too.

In fact, everyone should just eat a diet of water and fermented soy products… not non-fermented as that has too much estrogen.

Oh, and meat. But only like mercury-free fish and really lean poultry.

And seaweed. Yep. We can all eat seaweed. And kale. Those are safe and have absolutely no calories, right?

Oh wait. No, because vegetables have caloric values as well.

Well, let’s all eat dirt. No added or natural sugars there. No calories. No preservatives. Nothing! NOTHING THAT COULD EVER MAKE YOU FAT.

And water.

That’s healthy.

Or we could accept that we have to eat, and because we have to eat, we should try to eat the best we can. The thing about fruit juice is that compared to other sources of calories, you are getting enough nutrients, enough vitamins, minerals, etc. to outweigh the “sugar” content. No diet is ever going to be free of the supposedly “bad” things. So lining up water, juice, and soda and saying “be careful what you drink” is drawing a false comparison.

It’s time for us to stop thinking in such a way. You can’t compare the sugar content in water, juice, and soda on the same playing field. Mostly because neither water NOR soda have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin E or Magnesium (which are the main nutritional components in the V8 Fusions that I’ve taken to sucking down like candy to help increase my iron intake). So even though water is necessary to sustain life and prevent dehydration, it doesn’t “feed” you in any way other than providing hydration. Limited quantities of juice can be added in because you are both hydrated by them and derive nutritional value from them. Soda, on the other hand, is colored salty sugar-water. It dehydrates and has no real nutritional value. So why is it even comparable to juice and water.

Simple answer is: it’s not.

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