Revisions to Canada’s Food Guide suggests that a glass of orange juice is no longer essential to a balanced breakfast. Spokesperson Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge stated that Health Canada is recommending just water as a morning beverage in an effort to reduce sugar intake. Canadians can surely adjust to this sugary concern, but juice companies are not having it.
Health Canada has recently revised their food guide to be more aligned with scientific research. A main focus in the new guide is making choices based on whole foods instead of nutrient counting. This way, Canadians are able to make easier and healthier choices; if you’re choosing the right foods, you’re probably getting the nutrients you need already. Orange juice, unfortunately, is a processed food and not a whole food, so Health Canada is advising against consuming it.
Nutritionists have suggested that a glass of orange juice contains way too much sugar even if it’s naturally sourced. Since juice is the concentrated form of fruits, a lot more oranges go into one glass than a person would normally eat in a sitting. The actual fruit contains fibre that fills you up, but juice gets rid of this aspect—meaning there’s no fibre to suppress an insulin spike due to the sugars. Instead of drinking orange juice, it might be better to eat some oranges and drink water in the morning.
Due to this revision, big beverage corporations are lobbying for another revision, as advice against their juice products could hurt sales. Industries have turned to astroturfing behind the Canadian Juice Council to reverse the guide’s focus on whole foods. In a comprehensive report compiled by the Globe and Mail, it is revealed that lobbyists continue to argue that scientific research actually back the consumption of juice. However, it was found that many of the studies that they cited were funded by the food and beverage industries.
What’s interesting is that this guide could be inspired by the way Canadians are changing their eating habits. Market intelligence agencies report that juice consumption went down 15% in the last seven years, and there is more focus on eating healthy. The Health Guide contains advices on how to change unhealthy eating habits, and it’s good to know that Canadians are choosing this journey for themselves.