Great tasting juices are a smart addition to any diet, providing a variety of important nutrients that are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. In addition to providing nutrients like vitamin C, folate and potassium, 100 percent fruit juices also contain many naturally occurring phytonutrients, which have disease-preventative and health promoting potential. Fruit juices are a convenient way for adults and children to help meet the recommended daily number of servings of fruits and vegetables; a half-cup portion of 100 percent juice equals a serving of fruit.
Most Americans are not meeting current recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption and are missing out on valuable nutrients. For many people, drinking a glass of 100 percent juice is an easy and convenient way to help reach those goals, with just a half-cup serving of 100 percent juice providing the equivalent of a full serving of fruit. A diet which includes an intake of whole fruit supplemented with 100 percent fruit juice is recommended.
There are no added sugars in 100 percent juice – just the natural sugars found in whole fruit. In addition, fruit juice is considered a “nutrient dense” beverage, meaning that, per calorie, it packs more nutritional value than other beverage choices. Because nutrition is more than just calories, it’s important to look at the whole picture: 100 percent fruit juice is a valuable source of key nutrients like folate, vitamin C and potassium and supplies a serving of fruit in each half-cup portion.
The majority of research does not show a relationship between overweight and 100 percent juice consumption in children or teens. 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.”
Yes! 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. A 2012 study of children and adolescents 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. As noted above, 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.”
Adding water to your 100 percent juice may cut down on the sugar and calories per serving, but it also reduces the amount of nutrients. You can see the rich color given by the nutrients fade as you add water. Unless you prefer the taste, it is not necessary to add water to your juice.
As in previous Dietary Guidelines, the 2015 – 2020 report includes 100% juice as part of the fruit food group. The Guidelines recommend 2 cup-equivalents of fruit daily as part of a 2,000 calorie diet. One cup of 100% fruit juice counts as one cup of fruit and the report states that up to half the daily fruit intake may come from 100% juice. According to the Report, three-fourths of Americans don’t consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. One-hundred percent juice is a simple and delicious way to boost your fruit intake.
According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 4 to 6 ounces of 100% fruit juice per day is appropriate for young children. For children age 7 and older, the AAP says the serving size may go up to 8 to 12 ounces per day.