Juice Wars


Many women drink juice to boost health and wellness.

But not all juices are created equal. Find out how your favorite juice stacks up.

Dietician, Kristi Spence, shares a tip to help “boost your juice”.

Americans consume 40% of their dietary sugar from soda and fruit drinks, so paying attention to juice type and portion-size can help curb sugar intake and maximize nutrient density.

When considering juice, 100% fruit juice is the best choice rather than juice from concentrate or lower percentage juices. Pure fruit juice delivers higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals with no added sugar. Check the label to find “contains 100% fruit juice.” Sweetened juice products such as juice drinks do not qualify as nutrient-rich juices but instead fall into the category of sugar-sweetened beverages and should be limited.

Because all juice comes from fruit, it is naturally going to contain sugar – primarily fructose – but the amount of sugar you get from juice is higher than from the fruit itself (i.e., it takes several oranges to make 6oz of OJ). Minimize added sugars by checking the label. If, in addition to the juice itself, you see words ending in -ose, or ingredients containing “syrup,” these denote sugars that have been added to the original juice.

No matter what juice you pick portion size matters. While juice can be packed with vitamins and minerals, a little goes a long way. Remember your grandmother’s juice glass? 4-6oz is ideal.

When it comes to what to pick, there are an increasing number of options, all with promises of boosting health and improving wellness (i.e., acai, mangosteen, tart cherry, and pomegranate) not to mention the basic orange, apple, grape etc. Some of these more exotic juices may have a higher antioxidant count per ounce, but they are not an adequate replacement for a diet chock full of fruits and vegetables. Americans between the ages of 2 and 30 consume more than half of their fruit intake from juices, but the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that most fruit consumption should come from whole fruits rather than juice. When you eat fruits and veggies in their raw form (not in juice form) you get the benefit of fiber plus the purity of the nutrients working in conjunction with one another. These alternative juices are also extremely expensive and doing a cost/benefit analysis is worth it!

Other juices & their claims to promote health:

· Cranberry Juice & Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): Evidence suggests that cranberry juice may be helpful in reducing the severity of and possibly preventing the escalation of UTI’s. While antibiotics are undoubtedly the best method of treating such infections, cranberry juice, consumed within 8hrs, may help reduce bacterial growth.

· Aloe vera juice, touted as a natural remedy for alleviating gastrointestinal distress, requires more research before any conclusions can be made. While such alternative therapies have anecdotal support, their widespread use should be approached with caution. Most research has been done in animals, and human reactions to such extracts and juices can be mixed. Purity and quality are also concerns.


To boost the nutrient density of your juice and turn it into a balanced meal or snack, consider making a smoothie. With added whole fruit and dairy (milk or yogurt), the light meal or easy snack packs additional protein, potassium, b-vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D.

For more information contact:
Kristi Spence MS, RD, CSSD
Director of Health & Wellness
Mountain West Dairy Promotion
1213 East 2100 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Add comment