There are a lot of myths about juice out there! Does juice contain added sugars? Will drinking juice give me and my kids cavities? If you are looking for the facts, you’ve come to the right place! Click on the myth below and find the truth behind it.
There has been a lot of confusion lately surrounding 100 percent fruit juice and whether it contains added sugars, so we want to set the record straight! Unlike other sugary beverages such as soda and sports drinks, 100 percent fruit juice does not contain any added sugars. The only sugars that occur in 100 percent fruit juice are just the natural sugars found in whole fruit. It is now more important than ever to understand that 100 percent fruit juice does not contain any added sugars. In fact, a new report issued by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends limiting the amount of added sugars in one’s diet, but does not recommend limiting the intake of 100 percent fruit juice. Further, the committee recommends 100 percent fruit juice as a nutritious way for people to meet their fruit intake recommendations.
With conflicting health and nutrition advice around every corner, it is important to look for science-based information you can trust. 100 percent fruit juice is recommended by several reputable health organizations as it is a valuable source of key nutrients like folate, vitamin C and potassium. 100 percent fruit juice is also considered a “nutrient dense” beverage, meaning that per calorie, it packs more nutritional value than other beverages choices.
Food and beverage choices for children can be confusing, especially when it comes to dental health. Where does juice stand?No evidence has been found to support a link between the occurrence of dental caries, what we commonly refer to as tooth decay or cavities, in children and 100 percent fruit juice consumption.
In fact, a study in Pediatric Dentistry has shown that both 100 percent fruit juices and milk were associated with lower levels of dental caries in three- to five-year-old children.[i] In addition, a recent article published in The Journal of the American Dental Association examined the results of several studies conducted in the United States from 1999 to 2004[ii], it showed no association between 100 percent fruit juice intake in preschoolers and early childhood caries.
To ensure that your children’s teeth stay healthy, the American Dental Association recommends regular brushing and a healthy diet comprised of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and lean protein.
Parents are encouraged to follow the Fruit Juice Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics for age-appropriate serving sizes of 100 percent fruit juice. Current guidelines are:
[i] Kolker, J.L., et al. “Dental caries and dietary patterns in low-income African American children.” Pediatric Dentistry. 29.6 (2007): 457-464. Print.
[ii] Vargas, Clemencia M., et al. “Early childhood caries and intake of 100 percent fruit juice: Data from NHANES, 1999-2004.” The Journal of the American Dental Association. 145.12 (2014): 1254-1261. Print.
The majority of research does not show a relationship between obesity and 100 percent juice consumption. While there are some general misconceptions about the appropriateness of 100 percent fruit juices as part of the diet – especially children’s diets – the current science strongly maintains the nutritional benefits of fruit juice. According to Dr. Theresa Nicklas of the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine, a professor of pediatrics who has conducted research on juice consumption, “One hundred percent juice is and always has been a choice you can feel good about serving your family. The research shows there is no link between 100 percent juice intake and overweight.”A 2012 study of children and adolescents which evaluated eating habits published in Public Health Nutrition concluded that consumption of 100 percent fruit juice is associated with improved nutrient adequacy and can contribute to a healthy diet. An earlier study using the same data found, compared to their non-fruit juice drinking counterparts, adult consumers of 100 percent fruit juice to have a better diet quality overall.
An additional study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found was that compared with non-consumers, those who consumed 100 percent fruit juice were leaner, were more insulin sensitive, and had lower odds of obesity and metabolic syndrome. While the association with metabolic syndrome was explained primarily by other lifestyle factors, the association with obesity remained independent. They also found moderate intake of 100 percent fruit juice is also associated with more healthful lifestyles than no consumption of fruit juice.
As part of a healthy diet, 100 percent fruit juice offers a convenient, affordable, and nutrient-dense option that can help families meet recommended dietary goals.