The Crusader Newspaper Group

Gaining weight? It may be your glass of OJ

For many Americans, there’s nothing like washing down your breakfast with a cold glass of orange juice. Pulp or no pulp, this popular breakfast staple may not be good for your waistline.

Studies found drinking one or more servings of 100% fruit juice per day was associated with a small weight gain in both children and adults.

“Fruit juices are typically high in sugar and calories,” says Kate Laurin, a nurse practitioner at Aurora Health Care. “Fruit juices are also low in fiber – unlike whole fruits. Fiber is important because it makes what you are consuming more filling. Therefore, juice drinkers may find themselves consuming additional servings of juice to satisfy hunger, leading to weight gain.”

The American Heart Association recommends that adult women consume no more than 24g of sugar daily, while adult men consume no more than 36g of sugar daily. The average 100% fruit juice has 23g of sugar per serving and the average can of soda has 39g of sugar per serving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As you can see, moderation is key in a balanced diet – which can still include 100% fruit juice.

Laurin recommends these fruit juice consumption guidelines by age:
  • 12 months or younger: Avoid entirely
  • 1-3 years old: Limit to 4 ounces daily
  • 4-6 years old: Limit to 6 ounces daily
  • 7-18 years old: Limit to 8 ounces daily
  • Adults: No more than 8 ounces daily

However, make sure you check the ingredient label as some stores sell fruit cocktails that only contain about 10% fruit juice.

Serving size also plays a role when eating whole fruits. “It is possible to consume too much fruit because they are rich in sugar and fiber,” says Laurin. “Eating too much fruit can spike your blood sugars which causes you to feel full. This can result in you eating less of the other necessary and recommended food groups, such as protein and vegetables.”

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