Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Fruit Juice Is Not Good For You?

 
TheBUZZ Fruit juice is not good for you?
 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Juice is not a good fruit choice because it contains sugar.

 

WHAT WE KNOW

It is true that fruit juices contain the natural sugar (primarily fructose) that is in fruit. Fruit juices that are 100% juice also contain comparable amounts of the nutrients as the foods from which they were made, with the exception of fiber. Additionally, they contain the other healthful substances like antioxidants and phyto-nutrients that are also present in whole fruits. In the case of juice, the key is to purchase ‘100% juice’. Products that are listed as ‘juice drinks’ will have varying amounts of juice, sometimes as little as 10%, with other ingredients added to them such as water and sugar. Added sugar may appear on the label as high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, corn syrup, or cane sugar. Some nutrients, such as Vitamin C may also be added. However, what juice drinks are lacking are many of the other nutrients and healthful substances that are present in 100% juice, as well as the natural flavor from fruit to cultivate and enjoy the taste of the whole fruit.

 

All forms of fruits and vegetables count towards meeting recommendations for intake. Including a fruit serving as juice is one way to increase the variety of different fruits that are consumed each day. However, excessive consumption of juice, even if it is 100% juice, can lead to an increased calorie intake, and potentially weight gain. Whole fruits and vegetables – fresh, frozen, canned or dried, should also be included in daily food choices to help meet fiber requirements.

 

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

In children, research has shown that those who consume excessive amounts of sweetened or naturally sweet beverages, including 100% fruit juice, have higher body weights. However, studies have also shown that children who consume the equivalent of 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice have a better nutrient intake profile compared to those who do not consume juice, and this level of intake was not associated with likelihood of being overweight. Excessive consumption of sweetened beverages could also potentially replace other foods and beverages that are needed for growth. In adolescents and adults, excessive consumption of sweetened or naturally sweet beverages also appears to be associated with a higher risk for overweight and obesity.

 

OUR ADVICE

It is recommended to consume a variety of different fruits and vegetables each day. Including a fruit serving as juice is one way to increase the variety of different fruits that are eaten each day.

 

What is a serving? A 4 ounce (1/2 cup) portion of 100% juice is considered to be equivalent to a serving, or 1 small piece of fruit. For children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that sweetened beverages and naturally sweet beverages such as 100% fruit juice should be limited to 4-6 ounces per day for children 1 to 6 years old, and to 8-12 ounces per day for children 7-18 years old. Higher amounts can lead to excess calorie intake, whether it comes from sweetened beverages like soda or juice drinks, or from 100% fruit juice. When sweetened beverages are consumed, 100% fruit juice is the better choice.

 

For adults, 1-2 servings (4-8 ounces) per day as juice is a reasonable amount. In order to meet recommendations for fiber intake and to obtain potential benefits for weight management, most adults should also consume a variety of cooked or raw fruits as well as vegetables.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

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