We know that current public health messages encourage eating more fruit and vegetables as a target to support positive health outcomes. Regular, modest consumption of 100% fruit juice might be one practical approach towards achieving this.
However, in several countries in Europe, consumers are being advised to drink less fruit juice due to the so-called free sugars they contain.
‘Free sugar’ is the term coined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to describe “all mono- and disaccharides (sugars) added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus the sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.”
The question is, does this narrow focus on sugar obscure the more important role that 100% fruit juice could play in achieving targets for fruit and vegetables?
Already, major studies have confirmed the benefits to cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of inflammation from drinking a daily glass of 100% fruit juice.
And, despite concerns about the potential adverse effects of drinking fruit juice on type-2 diabetes and obesity, this has not been supported by healthcare research.
With these points in mind, leading international experts in diet and health were brought together at a Fruit Juice Matters symposium in Brussels during November 2019 to explore the latest scientific research on fruits and 100% fruit juices.
This summary draws together the evidence presented at the symposium and highlights the unanswered questions for our future research needs.