Replacing 100% fruit juice with whole fruit results in a trade off of nutrients in the diets of children

Theresa Nicklas, PhD; Carol O’Neil PhD, RD; Victor Fulgoni, III, PhD
Current Nutrition and Food Science, October 2015; 11(4): 267-273.

This study conducted two modeling strategies to evaluate nutrient intake and dietary impact of replacing 100% fruit juice with whole fruit in children ages 2-18 using the national NHANES 2007-2010 consumption data. Model 1 replaced 100% fruit juice with a composite of the top 20 most commonly consumed whole fruit. Model 2 replaced individual 100% fruit juice with the same fruit.

The data showed replacing 100% fruit juice with whole fruit resulted in no difference in energy intake and no difference in 85% of nutrients (17 out of 20). Of the three nutrients affected — vitamin C, fiber and total sugars — vitamin C significantly decreased in both models; dietary fiber slightly increased by one gram and only in Model 2; total sugars decreased significantly by a small amount (6 grams or 24 kcalories) only in Model 1.

Key Findings: Overall, fruit juice is nutritionally similar to whole fruit with a “trade-off” for vitamin C for fiber and total sugars and is an easy and important way to help children meet USDA Dietary recommendations. The study also mentions that 100% juice drinkers significantly consume more whole fruit and have better quality diets than nonjuice drinkers.

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