According to the USDA and the American Heart Association, Penny can lower her blood pressure by following certain eating guidelines. In order to manage her high blood pressure and decrease her risk of heart attack and stroke, Penny needs to:
Prenovate's Food Grading Engine takes into account all those guidelines and more to assign Penny a Spicy Lemonade food grade.
You may be surprised that this Spicy Lemonade ranks poorly. It's the relatively high quantity of free sugars that pushes this healthy-seeming beverage into precarious territory. (Free sugars are a hairy topic we'll cover in a later post). Essentially, the sugar in this juice is more harmful than the sugar in an actual lemon because (1) this juice has 29 g of sugar and no fiber to blunt the blood-sugar-raising effects of the sugar (also known as glycemic load) and (2) the juice contains a sweetener called agave syrup. While agave is considered one of the better sweeteners according to its glycemic index, some are skeptical of its health claims because it is still considered a free sugar by the World Health Organization's definition and because its relatively high fructose: glucose ratio could predispose to heart disease. Let's put this into perspective, 1 bottle of this Spicy Lemonade juice cleanse contains more than 50% of Penny's daily sugar limit and about 75% of all the sugar in a can of coke! Meanwhile, the Spicy Lemonade isn't exactly batting out of the park with healthy nutrients. It is a good source of heart-healthy vitamin C (25% of Penny's daily recommendation), but it lacks vitamin A and other favorable vitamins and nutrients.
Juice cleansing in the short term probably won't hurt Penny (especially because she's not diabetic), but if she were to juice cleanse regularly, the frequent elevations in her blood sugar could increase her risk of heart disease and stroke in the long-term.The moral of this story is to look before you leap into popular diet fads. Always check nutrient profiles and match them to the eating guidelines informed by your health goals.