The question posed in the title of this post is probably one to which most people would almost automatically answer, “Yes”. But the fact is that there seems to be a considerable amount of debate over the nuances of such a question. I am a person who likes all sorts of foods and will certainly eat junk food from time-to-time, but in general eats and prepares healthful food. However, it is sometimes kind of infuriating determining what is considered “healthful” (by the “experts”) from one day to the next.
Fruit juice is that kind of thing. It would appear obvious to me that drinking fruit juice is a good thing. However, many nutrition experts worry that “excessive” juice consumption can lead to undernutrition or overnutrition (huh?), tooth decay, flatulence (!?!) and other ills. It is also noted that fruit juice is high in calories (is fruit high in caloriess?) There are general guidelines about appropriate amounts of juice that can be consumed for infants, children, teenagers and adults.
Now I understand that too much of anything is probably a bad thing, especially when it comes to what you put in your body. Many of the concerns regarding consumption of fruit juice relate to the fact that the actual fruit is always better than just the juice, primarily because of the fiber content of the fruit and lack thereof in the juice. The problem is that the decision to serve fruit juice to children is only rarely a question of juice vs. fruit, but of juice vs. soda or other sugared beverage. Surely it is a slam-dunk to encourage the choice of fruit juice over these other kinds of sugary beverages.
Here’s a question: Is it better to serve, to a child, a glass of 1) water, 2) fruit juice, or 3) milk? FYI, there are also highly-opinionated people who believe milk consumption is a bad thing – more on that in the future.