Fruit juice can be a contributing factor to the obesity rate among American adults (40%) and children (19%), argue Erika R. Cheng, Lauren G. Fiechtner and Aaron E. Carroll in the New York Times. Parents need to stop associating juice with health because despite being marketed – and supported by government agencies - as healthy, many fruit juices contain more sugar than nutrients. In fact, one 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is about the same as what's in a can of Coke. Plus, drinking fruit juice is different than eating whole fruit. Juices contain more concentrated sugar and calories, which can lead to obesity and other health risks.
Not all fruit juices should be dismissed as unhealthy. While many do contain added sugar, there are natural juices that can be good for you, writes Natalie Rizzo in Men’s Health. Consumers need to look at the ingredient lists on juice bottles and check for 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added processed sugar. Pure 100% fruit juices, like tart cherry, prune, orange, beetroot, pomegranate or even grape juice all have health benefits. The various vitamins, anti-oxidants, nitrates, polyphenols, fiber, potassium and other nutrients that each contain help with digestion, muscle soreness, and can boost sleep, health and energy, among other benefits. Plus, it may be the only way a consumer gets these needed vitamins and nutrients.