For the longest time, people drank fruit juice as part of what they presumed to be a healthy diet. After all, they're told that the drink is natural and not made from concentrate.
However, these days, many have come to the realization that fruit juice can be just as bad for you as other sweet beverages like soft drinks, and no, the vitamin content isn't enough to make up for the sugar.
If you were still not fully sold on the fact that juice is not always the best option when you're thirsty, maybe the results of the latest Consumer Reports study will convince you.
The non-profit consumer research and advocacy group tested 45 varieties of juices (apple, pear, grape, and fruit blends) from different brands that are carried in stores across the United States, and they made some alarming findings.
About 21 of the juices they tested, including organic brands, contained potentially harmful levels of lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Grape juice and juice blends had the highest levels of heavy metal.
This is especially concerning to families across America because kids consume a lot of juice and these heavy metals can hinder a child's development.
Drinking as little as four ounces of a heavy metal tainted beverage is enough to potentially cause some damage, according to said James Dickerson, Consumer Reports chief science officer.
When combined with other food products, like baby foods and rice, which have also been found to contain dangerous toxins, young children are in even more danger.
"Exposure to these metals early on can affect their whole life trajectory," explained Jennifer Lowry, a physician and chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Environmental Health. "There is so much development happening in their first years of life."
The study's authors noted that these results shouldn't lead to "definitive conclusions about specific brands," but they shared the list of the juices that tested high:
Trader Joe's Fresh Pressed 100% Apple Juice, 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods) Organic 100% Juice, Concord Grape; R.W. Knudsen Organic Just Concord Grape Juice; Welch's 100% Grape Juice, Concord Grape; Welch's 100% Grape Juice, With Grape; Great Value (Walmart) 100% Juice, Cranberry Grape; Welch's 100% Juice with Antioxidant Superberry.
Other store and private-label brands that were tested include Minute Maid, Capri Sun, Gerber, and Mott's.