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With no added sugar, Florida Orange Juice can replace sugar-sweetened beverages in the diet.

BARTOW, Fla. – Released Thursday, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consumers shift to a healthier eating pattern that includes more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, while limiting the amount of added sugar.

According to the report, naturally occurring sugars, such as those in Florida Orange Juice, are not added sugar and 100 percent fruit juice can be consumed within recommended amounts in place of sugar-sweetened beverages, where the majority of added sugar consumed by Americans originates.

Further, the report indicates that 100 percent fruit juice, such as orange juice – which has no added sugar, continues to count as a fruit serving, along with fresh citrus, and other fresh, canned, frozen and dried fruit to help consumers meet fruit intake recommendations.

“At a time when the majority of Americans are not consuming enough fruit, 100 percent orange juice, which has no added sugar, can play a vital role in a healthy diet, as supported by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. “Our mission remains focused on educating consumers about the nutritional benefits and great taste of Florida Orange Juice while underscoring the importance of healthy choices in all aspects of life. We look forward to incorporating the updated recommendations in our future work.”

Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture, the Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years and provide the basis for all federal nutrition recommendations and guidance. The Dietary Guidelines also direct the consumer-focused MyPlate program, a visual tool used to illustrate the five food groups of a healthy diet and their serving sizes.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend consumers continue to center on a healthy dietary pattern that should focus largely on plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It also suggests consumers limit the amount of added sugars in the diet to less than 10 percent of calories per day. The natural sugar found in 100 percent orange juice would not be included in the added sugar limit.

Orange juice can deliver key nutrients identified by the Dietary Guidelines as nutrients of public health concern due to low consumption, including potassium as well as calcium and vitamin D, which is featured in fortified juices.

“The new Guidelines provide a framework for Americans to make healthier food choices,” said Gail Rampersaud, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the University of Florida. “Including fresh citrus and 100 percent citrus juices helps meet fruit and key nutrient intake recommendations.”

An 8-ounce serving of 100 percent orange juice provides a substantial number of nutrients per calorie including 100 percent or more of the Daily Value of vitamin C, as well as folate, and potassium.

The Florida Department of Citrus partnered with the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which leads the MyPlate program, last year to help promote a healthy diet that reflects the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

For more information on Florida Orange Juice, visit FloridaJuice.com.

About the Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry.  Its activities are funded by a tax paid by growers on each box of citrus that moves through commercial channels.  The industry employs nearly 62,000 people, provides an annual economic impact of nearly $10.7 billion to the state, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that help support Florida’s schools, roads and health care services. For more information about the Florida Department of Citrus, please visit FloridaCitrus.org.