Health

Is Apple Juice Good for You? We Asked a Dietitian

If there is, in fact, an elixir of life, one would imagine it to somewhat resemble apple juice. After all, with its golden hue, sweet taste, and yes, derivation from a nutritious and delicious fruit, it seems only natural that apple juice would contain many of the benefits that we need to live a long, healthy existence. And of course, let us not forget that we encourage children to consume it by the box, but still the question remains: Is apple juice good for you?

But as with most questions and answers in our modern world, experts say the answer is more nuanced than simply yes or no.

Some ways apple juice is good for you

First, let’s talk about the benefits of apple juice, as they are indeed bountiful. “According to [government] dietary guidelines, it’s fine to have one serving of 100-percent fruit juice as one of your daily fruit servings,” explains Samantha Cassetty, RDN. What’s more: “Apple juice contains antioxidants, which can help guard against free radical damage and oxidative stress that paves the way for various diseases.”

Indeed, the active compounds called polyphenols found in apple juice may stop LDL, the less desirable cholesterol, from collecting in your arteries. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Moreover, there is some preliminary science to support the notion that apple juice supports brain function, especially as you age.

Moreover, Cassetty notes apple juice can help you hydrate given that it is 88-percent water.

Some reasons to limit your consumption

Alas, it’s not all sunshine and roses when it comes to apple juice, especially because sticking to a serving size of the beverage can be difficult. “For adults, a serving is one cup, and many people drink more than that,” Cassetty says. Furthermore, apple juice lacks the fiber found in whole apples, so it does not contribute to feelings of fullness in the way that a whole piece of fruit would, she adds.

There is also a significant amount of sugar in apple juice. A eight-ounce glass of 100-percent apple juice contains 24 grams of sugar. (FYI: The American Heart Association recommend women limit their sugar intake to 25g per day and men, 36 g.)  “If you like apple juice and want to include up to one cup a day in an otherwise healthy diet, that would be more than okay. However, it’s ideal to cap it at that amount,” Cassetty says.

If you’re looking to get additional fruit fixes, opt for the solid variety, she suggests. And when you’re shopping for juice, be sure the label says 100-percent fruit juice to avoid any added sugars. And better still, Cassetty says: “Choose 100-percent juice that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D since most of us don’t meet the requirements for these nutrients.”

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