(WXYZ) – There’s been a lot of controversy around fruit juice and many people are not sure if juice is healthy. Can it be part of a nutritious diet?
Many people see fruit juice as a sugar-sweetened beverage, but it all depends on what you chose. Are you buying 100% fruit juice? Or are you buying sweetened juice or juice cocktails?
100% fruit juice with no added sugars can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Drinking fresh orange or grapefruit juice provides valuable nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. Purple grape juice, cranberry, and pomegranate juice have antioxidants that may help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Fresh fruit is better choice because it has more phytonutrients, a lot less sugar and fewer calories than a glass of juice. Take a medium orange for example. It has 12 grams of sugar and 62 calories. But a glass of fresh orange juice has 21 grams of sugar and 112 calories.
If you have a busy lifestyle, a small glass of juice is a quick easy way to get one serving of fruit into your day. So here’s my prescriptions:
1. Before buying, read the label because juice drinks can be made with partial fruit juice, for example it may say 42% juice. Best to avoid these and choose 100% unsweetened or “no sugar added” fruit juice.
2. Stick to the current recommendations: adults should not drink more than one 8-ounce glass per day. Children aged 6 and under can have 4 -6 ounces per day, and kids 7-18 can have 8 – 12 ounces of juice daily.
3. If crave more than an 8-ounce glass of juice, you can increase the volume by adding water or sparkling water.
4. If you drink grapefruit juice, be aware it can interact with certain medications like cholesterol drugs. Be sure to check with your doctor first.
This is one of the problems with fruit juice – it’s not very filling because our bodies don’t recognize liquid calories as well as whole food. Juice often lacks the fiber found in whole fruit, which is what helps us feel full longer so we eat less.
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