Juicey Sugar

I recently had a conversation with another mom who told me that her pediatrician recommended choosing orange juice over apple juice “because apple juice has way more sugar” than other juices. I told her this wasn’t quite true.

While cranberry and grape juices are a bit higher in sugar, orange and apple were not significantly different, so the “avoid apple juice” is not a real good argument.

The facts: Orange and apple juice each provide about 3 grams sugar per fluid ounce. Some apple juice brands may provide slightly more, but in a 6-ounce serving, the difference is insignificant (18-20 grams per 6-ounces). Grape juice contains about 4 grams per fluid ounce, bringing it up to 24 grams of sugar in a 6-ounce portion. The important thing to remember here is that all fruit juices contain quite a bit of sugar. A 6-ounce portion is all that you need to get some vitamin C. More than that isn’t necessary and the better choice is eating whole fruit each day instead of more than 6 ounces of juice.

Think your drink. Go for more water and just enough low fat milk to provide adequate calcium to your diet. As a mom, I realize that as children turn into teenagers, they seem to like to have personal sized serving bottles to hold when hanging out with friends. So even though water bottles may be environmentally unfriendly (although new plastics are saving some waste), I purchase them since a water bottle is certainly a better day-to-day choice over a can of soda or a juice box.

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