Is 100 Percent Fruit Juice as Healthy as It Sounds?

The Short Answer from a dietitian

Is 100 Percent Fruit Juice as Healthy as It Sounds?

Q: How healthy is 100 percent fruit juice?

A: When you eat a whole piece of fruit, you get the benefits of not just its vitamins and minerals but also of its natural fiber.

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But when you drink fruit juice, you’re basically drinking fortified soda — including lots of added sugar. For example, an 8-ounce bottle of a popular 100% Apple Juice has 28 grams of sugar — the same as an 8-ounce can of a popular cola.

Similarly, fruit that’s been processed into jam and jelly often has high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a main ingredient.

The prevalence of HFCS in processed foods is linked to the U.S. rise in diabetes and obesity-related health problems. (Our per capita consumption — 55 pounds per of the sweetener per year — is highest in the world.)

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For something sweet and healthy to spread on your peanut butter sandwich, try making chia seed jam instead. It’s easy, and chia seeds are brimming with heart-healthy omega-3 fats and fiber.

—Diabetes Center dietitian Hillary Sullivan, RDN, LD

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