Most people do not consume enough fruits and vegetables, so drinking fruit juice as a beverage will add a serving or two of fruit to your daily total. That's a good thing as long as it's 100-percent fruit juice. Fruit drinks that contain very little fruit juice and lots of added sugar or high fructose corn syrup don't count as a serving of fruit and they have lots of calories.
Fruit juice contains the same nutrients that are found in whole fruit, but doesn't have the fiber found in whole fruit. Fiber helps to slow down the digestion and absorption of the natural sugars found in the fruit. The fiber in the fruit may also help to fill you up and keep you feeling full longer, while drinking juice won't have that same effect. So that makes it easier to take in more calories without realizing what you're doing.
One serving of fruit juice is usually about six ounces or 3/4 of one cup of juice. Most of us need one to two cups of fruit or fruit juice every day (along with about two to three cups of vegetables). You can have a serving or two of fruit juice every day, but be sure to eat some whole fruit too, so you get more fiber.
Fruit juice is available at your local grocery store. There will be several varieties, and they'll be available in large bottles and single serving containers. The large containers or more economical; however, single-serving packages are convenient and are good for brown bag lunches.
When you shop for fruit juice, be sure to look for the words 100-percent fruit juice on the label. You should also look at the ingredients list, which is especially important if you're buying juices such as pomegranate, acai or other exotic fruit juices -- they're frequently blended with apple or grape juice to cut costs. It's not that apple or grape juice is bad, but why pay extra for it?
You can also make your own juice at home with a juicer, either a small hand held orange juice squeezer or a fancy electric juicer that keeps much of the pulp and fiber in the juice. Juices are not made from cooked fruits so they are often a main part of raw food diets.
United States Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov. "Tips to Help You Eat Fruits." Accessed February 2, 2012. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits-tips.html.
United States Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Health and Human Services. "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010." Accessed February 15, 2011. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.