SEATTLE—Kids love fruit juice, but eating the whole fruit instead will lower caloric intake plus give them a fiber boost. Researchers from University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to
examine the nutritional and economic consequences of replacing fruit juice with whole, frozen and canned fruit.
Here's what they found:
· Replacing juice with fresh fruit (e.g., replacing apple juice with fresh apple) resulted in a 56 calorie drop.
· Substituting juice with the top three most commonly consumed fruits (banana, apple and orange) resulted in a 25% to 32% increase in fiber. While substituting juice with lower-cost canned or frozen fruit substantially raised fiber intake, but resulted in minimal reductions in energy (19 calorie reduction).
· Potassium and calcium were slightly reduced and vitamin C was significantly reduced. Despite this, the percentage of children consuming recommended amounts of vitamin C remained very high.
On the downside, the study found that replacing juice with comparable fresh fruit increased cost by 13%. But, replacing juice with lower-cost canned or frozen fruit increased costs by only 1.5%. Substituting juice with the three most commonly consumed fruits resulted in an increase in cost of 4%.