Is your fruit juice really 100 percent fruit juice?

Before you grab your next bottle of fruit juice and head for the cashier, become familiar with your beverage’s nutritional content. You might be surprised with what you find.

If fruit juice will be on your next shopping list, Michigan State University Extension suggests that before you purchase, educate yourself with facts to aid in selecting a healthy product made from 100 percent fruit juice. It is always wise to start your fact finding journey by reading the nutrition facts label for each of the juice products you are considering. The nutrition content per serving is a key piece of information when comparing fruit juice beverages. Don’t be fooled by attractive packaging or misled by clever wording, be sure your fruit juice is the real thing.

Interpreting the nutrition facts information for fruit juice starts with understanding a serving size is eight ounces or one cup. When fruit juice is 100 percent pure juice, it counts as one fruit serving. This is helpful as many Americans do not eat enough fruit. Fruit juices do not contain dietary fiber, since it was removed when the fruit was processed into juice. Be sure to eat a variety of fruits based on your daily food plan to consume beneficial dietary fiber. Fruit juice is delicious, but be sure you monitor your portion sizes to stay within your personal calorie limit.

The ingredient list is also very helpful in determining nutritional content. A lengthy list of ingredients is another clue that a product is not 100 percent fruit juice, but rather a fruit flavored drink or fruit juice blend. The ingredients are listed in descending order by dominance of weight, so substances listed first are of the greatest weight. Be aware if water was added to make the juice, which is the case for fruit juice from concentrate, it likely will be the first ingredient. Juice flavored drinks, fruit juice cocktails and fruit juice blends may only be five to 15 percent fruit juice. Look on the product label to find the percentage of fruit juice. The only way to confirm if your fruit juice is 100 percent pure is to read the ingredient list. Get the greatest nutrition for your dollars.

One serving of 100 percent orange juice supplies 100 percent of the vitamin C that your body needs. Read the product label carefully, as a product may contain 100 percent of your daily vitamin C, but that does not mean the product is 100 percent fruit juice. Vitamin C can be added to a juice drink but again, this does not make it 100 percent fruit juice. Food manufacturers are also adding other beneficial nutrients like calcium and potassium to beverages. Read the nutrition facts label for this information. Watch for added sodium in some fruit juice drinks, this will be listed in the nutrition facts. A low-source of sodium food contains only 140 milligrams or less per one serving.

Strolling through the fruit juice aisle need not be an overwhelming experience any longer. Selecting 100 percent pure fruit juice just takes a little know how, but definitely worth the effort.

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