TheBUZZ 100% fruit juice or whole fruit?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
100% fruit juice is an easy, convenient, and delicious way to add fruit to your diet and meet your daily recommended goals for fruit.
WHAT WE KNOW
Drinking 100% fruit juice can play an important role in building a healthy diet. Just like fresh, frozen, and canned fruit, 100% juice counts towards your daily fruit intake and contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It’s considered one of the top beverages by registered dietitians, who recommend 100% fruit juice in addition to water, milk, and vegetable juice for children and adults.* While 100% juice is a healthy choice, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The calories in any food or drink count, so whether you are choosing whole fruit or fruit juice, portion control is important.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS
Nutrient-dense 100% fruit juice has many of the same nutrients found in whole fruit. These juices contain essential vitamins and minerals, along with other beneficial plant nutrients, like polyphenols. Researchers have found preliminary evidence to suggest that polyphenols may have a positive effect on glucose absorption and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, juice made from red/purple grapes and grape juice is particularly nutritious. The polyphenols in Concord grapes, for example, are found in the grape’s thick skin and its seeds, both of which are generally discarded and not eaten. To make 100% grape juice, Concord grapes are crushed – skin, seeds and all – allowing these healthy plant compounds to be part of the juice. This, and more than a decade’s worth of research, suggests that 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can help support a healthy heart.
Most Americans do not consume enough fruit, so all forms of fruit (including 100% juice) can help to narrow the gap between actual consumption and the recommended daily amount. 100% fruit juice can add an extra serving of fruit any time of the day. Because whole fruit is a better source of fiber, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and the American Academy of Pediatricians, both recommend a diet that focuses on whole fruit first, along with moderate consumption (roughly 6-12 ounces daily) of 100% fruit juice.
There are many juice drinks on the market today, some with as little as 5-10% juice and added sweeteners and water. Be sure to check the nutrition label before buying any juice to be sure the product contains 100% juice, with no added sugars, as well as concentrated nutrition including vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols.
More About the Benefits of 100% Fruit Juice
* WebMD Survey of 310 actively practicing registered dietitians, fielded September-October 2012.