New Dietary Guidelines Include Role for Juice

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

orange juice

The newly released 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) continue to reinforce that nutrient-dense 100 percent fruit juices, such as orange juice (OJ), count as a fruit serving. They also continue to include 100 percent fruit juice as a part of a healthy dietary pattern. The guidelines support the incorporation of beverages such as 100 percent OJ into the daily diets of children and adults. 

The guidelines are updated every five years to reflect the current body of nutrition science and provide advice on what to eat and drink to promote health and reduce risk of chronic disease. The DGA are the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy and provide evidence-based dietary guidance to consumers. They serve as the standard for federal nutrition programs.

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Scientific Research Department has been closely monitoring the development of the new guidelines over the past three years. The FDOC submitted comments during the DGA process regarding the benefits and nutrient density of 100 percent OJ.

Following are a few key statements in the new DGA specifically regarding the role of 100 percent fruit juice in the diet:

  • At least half of the recommended amount of fruit should come from whole fruit, rather than 100 percent juice. When juices are consumed, they should be 100 percent juice and always pasteurized or 100 percent juice diluted with water (without added sugars).
  • Beverages that contain no added sugars should be the primary choice for children and adolescents. These include water and unsweetened fat-free or low-fat milk and 100 percent juice within recommended amounts.
  • Drinks labeled as “fruit drinks” or “fruit-flavored drinks” are not the same as 100 percent fruit juice and contain added sugars. These beverages displace nutrient-dense beverages and foods in the diet of young children.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

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