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Juice in a balanced diet

According to the World Health Organization a healthy diet throughout life helps prevent malnutrition as well as a range of non-communicable diseases and conditions. Today, people consume more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium than in the past, and many people do not eat enough fruit, vegetables or foods high in dietary fibre such as whole grains.

The exact make-up of a diversified, balanced and healthy diet varies depending on age, life stage, activity level and even geographic location. Healthy eating has no “one size fits all” formula, but the basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same. Diversify intake with a variety of nutritional foods and drink and consume as many vitamins as minerals as possible directly from food sources rather than supplements.

Fruit & vegetables: The most important ingredient for a healthy diet for adults

A healthy diet contains at least 400g (five portions) of fruits and vegetables a day. Many people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, so drinking 100% fruit juice is a convenient and delicious way to increase intake. There is a myth that drinking fruit juice displaces whole fruit and vegetable consumption, but in reality 100% fruit juice drinkers eat more fruit and vegetables, not less. (To read about more myths surrounding fruit juice, see Myth busting.)

Children: Even more at risk of consuming too little fruit and vegetables

For children, optimal nutrition fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development. Healthy eating also reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese as well as developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) later in life. Advice on a healthy diet for infants and children is similar to that for adults, including the need to consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

Eating at least 400g, or five portions, of fruits and vegetables per day reduces the risk of NCDs, and helps ensure an adequate daily intake of dietary fibre. To improve fruit and vegetable consumption, try to:

  • Always include vegetables as part of every meal
  • Offer fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks;
  • Provide fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season;
  • Include a variety of fruit and vegetables in a child’s diet.
  • Offer 100% fruit juice with one meal each day

Children are not always eager to eat their greens. One easy way to help them complement their whole fruit and vegetable consumption is by drinking 100% fruit juice once a day. Scientific studies even suggest that 100% fruit juice can help children become used to the taste of fruit and vegetables, which may lead to long-term positive health choices. (Discover more ways to introduce children to 100% fruit juice in Tips for parents.)

How to include 100% fruit juice in a healthy diet:

100% fruit juice offers a convenient and tasty way to top up fruit and vegetable consumption. Here are just a couple of examples of how people can fit this into a daily diet plan:

Home-made sports drink for athletes
Because of its’ specific composition, and in particular its sugar and mineral profile, 100% orange juice is well suited for making a home-made isotonic sports drink . For four portions, take 500 ml of 100% orange juice and dilute with 500 ml water. Just add 1.5 g (a pinch) of salt (NaCl), to finish. (To learn more, see the factsheet “The Nutritional Profile of 100% Orange Juice.)

For four portions:

  1. Take 500ml of 100% orange juice, 500ml water and 1.5g (a pinch) of salt (NaCl).
  2. Shake and serve cold.

For more information on how 100% fruit juice can help boost your sports training, see Tips for sportspeople.

A low GI breakfast to feel fuller longer

Dietitian Tanja Callewaert advises combining juice with other foods: “Eating healthily means not only choosing nutritious foods to consume but also combining certain foods together in meals that support the body’s natural functions. By combining 100% fruit juice with the proteins of yoghurt, fat from egg, and fibres from wholegrain bread, the foods work together: Natural sugars combined with proteins and some fat and fibre will lower the glycaemic index (GI) of the total meal and reduce the body’s insulin response, helping people to feel fuller longer, and reducing potential craving for sugars.”

For a nutritious start to the day, eat:
- 1 slice wholegrain bread,
- 1 boiled egg,
- 1 low-fat yoghurt (natural, unsweetened)
- 1 glass of 100% orange juice

A juicy salad to increase iron stores

To get the most out of salads at mealtimes, combine it with a glass of 100% orange juice. One small glass of 100% orange juice contains more than 50% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a strong ‘helper’ for other foods, increasing ‘non haem’ iron absorption (from plant foods) by two to three times what the body does alone. It’s a tasty way to get more nutrients.

Discover more about the vitamins and nutrients found in 100% fruit juice in Nutritional profile.




1. WHO, 2014, Fact sheet N°394. Available at: 
2. WHO Technical Report Series no. 916. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation.2003. Available at:  [Last accessed 23 March 2017].
3. Gibson, S. Fruit juice consumption in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS 2008-2010): associations with diet quality and indices of obesity and health. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2012.
4. WHO Technical Report Series no. 916. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation.2003. Available at:  [Last accessed 23 March 2017].
5. CREDOC. Comportements et consommation alimentaire en France 2010. Enquête CCAF 2010.
6. Urdampilleta, S. et al. Revisión : Hydration and chemical ingredients in sport drinks: food safety in the European context. Journal of Nutrición Hospitalia 2015. Available at:  [Last accessed 23 March 2017].
7. Tanja Callewaert, registered dietitian and member of European Federation of European Dietitians.
8. FJM Nutrient chart: Average of the data of national nutrient databases from UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Austria. Average amount per 150ml is 54.6mg of vitamin C. Available at: 
9. EU Register on health and nutrition claims. Available at:  [Last accessed 23 March 2017].

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