Fruit juice and diet quality
Fruit juice and diet quality
2 min read
Although average fruit juice intake remains low in many countries (just 130g per day in the UK and 184g in America) observational studies consistently show that fruit juice can contribute to improved diet quality .
Evidence in children
Analysis of children’s diets from the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey – the official nutrition survey in America – found that children who consumed both milk and fruit juice had the highest diet quality scores . In a recent update of this study, scientists found that people who drank 100% fruit juice had higher intakes of flavanones and total flavanoids compared with non-consumers, as well as scoring better on measures of diet quality .
Another American study followed up 100 children into their teenage years finding that those who consumed 100% fruit juice as young children had better quality diets in adolescence. For example, those who consumed fruit juice as children were almost four times more likely to meet guidelines for whole fruit intake when they reached their teen years .
Evidence in adults
Analysis of dietary data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) in the UK has found that adult consumers of 100% fruit juice had higher intakes of fruit and vegetables, were more likely to meet the 5 A DAY recommendation, and had significantly higher intakes of folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fibre .
In America, adult consumers of 100% fruit juice were found in an observational study to have higher dietary intake of vitamin C, potassium, calcium and vitamin D . Those who consumed fruit juice also scored higher in measures of diet quality.
Another study looking at dietary differences in >25,000 participants found that consumers of both 100% fruit juice and tea had better overall diet quality and ate more fruits and vegetables .
Scientists have also modelled changes to diets if whole fruits were to be consumed instead of fruit juice. One study found only a slightly improved fibre intake and no significant differences in nutrient intake demonstrating that 100% fruit juice can count towards fruit and vegetable recommendations without compromising nutrition .
This makes sense when you realise that the difference in fibre between 100g of whole orange and 100g of orange juice is around 1g which is modest when set against the daily recommendation of 30g.
To conclude, there is a wealth of evidence in children and adults to show that those who consume 100% fruit juice often have better quality diets than those who do not and are more likely to reach the 5 A DAY recommendation.
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