One-hundred percent fruit juice benefits large segments of the population who struggle to get enough fruit in their daily diets and should be distinguished from sugar-sweetened beverages for its superior nutritional profile, concluded a review and commentary in the journal Nutrition Reviews1. The article examines the role of 100% fruit juice, such as 100% orange juice, in helping meet 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake. There are many barriers to fruit and vegetable consumption, including cost, access, and convenience, and fruit juice can help overcome these.
Except for fiber, 100% fruit juice contains the same beneficial nutrients and compounds as whole fruit. Removal of juice from the diet could result in nutrient shortfalls, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenols, which have been linked to reducing the risk for chronic disease.
100% fruit juice is often discouraged because of its sugar content and fears of contributing to obesity. However, the majority of research does not support this and there are still substantial levels of overweight/obesity despite the fact that most people drink no 100% fruit juice, juice intake declines with age, and overall intakes have declined over the years. Recommendations to include fruit juice should be made in the context of the entire diet because the addition would provide value and benefit to the diet. As the authors point out, no one would think to discourage consumption of fish because it does not contain fiber as it clearly has dietary benefits.
Consumption of whole fruit and 100% fruit juice should not be viewed as competitors as they are often consumed under different circumstances. Recommendations to consume 100% fruit juice offers a “step in the right direction” to increase fruit intake, especially for lower socioeconomic populations.
1. Benton D, Young HA. Role of fruit juice in achieving the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake. Nutr Rev. 2019; Sep 4. pii: nuz031. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuz031. [Epub ahead of print]. Link to full text.