Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Apple Juice Contains Harmful Substances? Part 2

TheBUZZ: Apple juice contains harmful substances? Part 2

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The Dr. Oz Show and Consumer Reports claims they have found excessive inorganic levels of arsenic in apple juice, alarming consumers, especially those with young children, to avoid apple juice.

WHAT WE KNOW

Apple juice certainly sounds healthy, doesn’t it? It’s a popular choice for many parents who serve it up as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and sodas. In September 2011, however, the Dr. Oz Show entitled “Is Your Apple Juice Safe?” made shocking claims regarding the presence of arsenic in apple juice.

Controversy over arsenic in apple juice made headlines in September when Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of the Dr. Oz Show, told viewers that tests he’d commissioned found 10 of three dozen apple juice samples with total arsenic levels exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb).

Originally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) experts concluded that the testing protocol used by the show was not appropriate and that the results should not be interpreted as fact. However, at the end of November 2011 an investigation by Consumer Reports showed otherwise.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

Consumer Reports tested juice from bottles, cans, and juice boxes from three different states. Levels in the apple juices ranged from 1.1 to 13.9 ppb, and grape juice levels were even higher, 5.9 to 24.7 ppb. This report also found that about one-fourth of all juice samples had lead levels at or above the 5 ppb limit for bottled water. The top lead level for apple juice was 13.6 ppb and 15.9 ppb for grape juice.

The FDA has been collecting its own data to see whether it should change their guidelines to continue to ensure the safety of apple juice. The FDA continues to use 23 ppb for the presence of inorganic arsenic in juice and 50 ppb for lead as a guide to determine potentially unsafe levels. It’s also important to note that the FDA standard is for inorganic arsenic only, while Consumer Reports was reporting total arsenic values. All of the juice tested by Consumer Reports was below the FDA 23 ppb standard for inorganic arsenic.

OUR ADVICE

Enjoy apples in all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice)! When it comes to apples, and all fruits and vegetables, More Matters for your health! So prepare your fruits and veggies any way you like—juiced, sliced, and more! What really matters is that you are eating the daily recommendation to provide your body with the best combination of beneficial nutrients!

Worried about calories and sugar in juice? While consuming 100% juice is nutritious for you (and certainly a convenient and tasty part of a healthy diet), it’s also important to consume whole fruits and vegetables (including canned or frozen) to ensure you are getting adequate fiber. (Remember that cooking fruits and veggies doesn’t reduce their fiber content.) The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends consuming only 4-6 ounces of 100% juice per day for children 1-6 years old and 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old. For adults, 4-8 ounces per day as juice is a reasonable amount.

With any healthy diet, moderation is key. Eat a variety of colors and forms of fruits and vegetables each day to provide your body with beneficial compounds, and to help manage your weight!

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