Americans consumeThe problem? Fruit juice doesn’t offer the same dose of fiber as real fruit and also packs in loads of sugar.Photo by Justin Singh
To Juice, or Not to Juice? — The Need-to-KnowThat cranberry juice mixed with vodka last night doesn’t actually qualify as a serving of fruit (bummer, we know). And how’s this for a sobering reminder: Just one cup of juice (apple, for example) usually has more than 100 calories. Keeping the calorie count in mind is key, too— some nutritionists suggest thinking about juice as a calorie-free addition to a meal could contribute to weight gain, too. One study even revealed kids (even as old as 19) get 10 to 15 percent of their daily calories from juice and other sweetened drinks— and we’ve noticed old habits die hard (who doesn’t still love a little juice or soda with their liquor?)Increasing caloric contribution from sugar-sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices among US children and adolescents, 1988-2004. Wang, Y.C., Bleich, S.N., Gortmaker, S.L. Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, New York, NY. Pediatrics, 2008 Jun;121(6):e1604-14..
Our biggest beef with juice (who thought we’d ever use those two words in the same sentence?) is all about sugar content. Fruit naturally has a good deal of sugar, but getting it in juice form makes it all too easy to overdo it— whether real fruit juice or “juice drink.” And even 100 percent fruit juice can’t offer the fiber of whole fruit, which is what makes real fruit so filling and helps keep the digestive tract flowing.