Fruit juice isn’t bad for you — it actually can be very nutritious — but you do need to keep track of the calories in the juice, and be sure to keep your overall calorie intake at a healthy level. Most people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables, so drinking fruit juice as a beverage will add a serving or two of fruit to your daily total. That is, as long as it’s 100% fruit juice. Fruit drinks that contain very little fruit juice and lots of added sugars don’t count as a serving of fruit.
Fruit Juice Verses Whole Fruit
Fruit juice contains the same nutrients that are found in whole fruit, but doesn’t have the fiber that helps to slow down the digestion and absorption of the natural sugars found in the fruit. The fiber in the fruit may help to fill you up and keep you feeling full longer, while drinking juice won’t have that same effect. So that makes it easier to take in more calories without realizing what you’re doing.
Fruit Juice Serving Size
One serving of fruit juice is usually about six ounces or 3/4 of one cup of juice. Most of us need one to two cups of fruit or fruit juice every day (along with about two to three cups of vegetables). You can have a serving or two of fruit juice every day, but be sure to eat some whole fruit too, so you get more fiber.
Shopping for Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is available at your local grocery store. There will be several varieties, and they’ll be available in large bottles and single serving containers. The large containers or more economical; however, single serving packages are convenient and are good for brown bag lunches.
When you shop for fruit juice, be sure to look for the words 100% fruit juice on the label. You should also look at the ingredients list, which is especially important if you’re buying juices such as pomegranate, acai or other exotic fruit juices — they’re frequently blended with apple or grape juice to cut costs.