A new report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition supports maintaining juice as part of a healthy diet, and refutes claims linking 100% juice to negative health outcomes in children. The report, which reviews the totality of research, was published by Dr. Robert Murray, pediatric nutritionist and immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter.
In the report, Dr. Murray notes that juice has recently been cast in a negative light without sufficient scientific evidence. The report encourages parents and other consumers to look at a child’s total diet before judging foods or beverages as “good” or “bad,” and recommends evaluating foods based on their contributions to the diet as a whole – rather than individual qualities such as fat or sugar.
Dr. Murray also emphasizes that poor diet quality remains an issue for many Americans, and 100% juice has many positive attributes that can help improve quality of diet. Conversely, eliminating juice from a child’s diet may result in unintended negative nutritional consequences – especially for low-income populations. The report notes that juices retain the majority of the same health-promoting nutrients and plant compounds found in whole fruit, and points to evidence that juice drinkers also have better quality diets, consume more whole fruit, less added sugar and saturated fat, and greater amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and fiber than non-juice drinkers.
The report also illustrates how children are the typically the biggest juice drinkers and the only US age group consuming enough servings of fruit. As fruit juice consumption continues to fall without whole fruit filling the gap, Dr. Murray concludes that a combination of whole fruit and juice is the best way for children and adults to meet their daily recommended fruit servings and improve their overall diet.