There’s been some debate whether fruit juice should count among your daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. Experts agree that, while pure fruit juice does contain a lot of vitamins, a whole piece of fresh fruit is almost always the better choice — since juice is packed with the fruit’s natural sugars. Here’s how some popular fruits stack up against their liquid counterparts.
One 8-oz. glass of orange juice has close to 2.5 times the sugar and just one-third the fiber of a typical piece of fruit. The stats from caloriecounter.com: the small juice contains 112 calories, 0.1 g dietary fiber, and 20.8 g sugar, while the fruit has 45 calories, 2.3 g dietary fiber, and 9 g sugar.
An 8-oz. apple juice has roughly twice the sugar but less than one-tenth the fiber of a medium-sized apple. The stats: juice has 120 calories, 0.3 g dietary fiber, and 27.2 g sugar; the fruit has 72 calories, 3.3 g dietary fiber, and 14.3 g sugar.
A glass of grape juice contains — once again — about 2.5 times as much sugar as the same volume of fruit (one cup of grapes), although with about half as much fiber. The stats: juice has 154 calories, 0.3 g dietary fiber, and 37.6 g sugar; a cup of grapes has 62 calories, 0.8 g dietary fiber, and 15 g sugar.
An 8-oz. juice has not quite twice the sugar contained in the same volume of fruit (one cup of diced pineapple), with roughly one quarter the fiber . The stats: juice has 140 calories, 0.5 g dietary fiber, and 34 g sugar; a cup of fruit has 74 calories, 2.2 g dietary fiber, and 14.4 g sugar.
Verdict: If you’re not getting enough fruit and veg otherwise, juice is certainly better than nothing, since it does contain many vitamins and nutrients. But if you have the choice, go for a piece of fruit and (if you’re thirsty) a glass of water.