The answer is, it depends!
Are you choosing fruit juice instead of a soda? Then the answer is YES.
Are you consuming more than 8 ounces of fruit juice per day? Then the answer is NO.
Don't confuse the health benefits of fruit juice with that of a whole fruit. For example, 1 cup of apple juice = 120 calories, 0.2 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, and a good dose of Vitamin C and potassium. The whole apple, on the other hand, contains 95 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and a wider variety of nutrients. The peel also contains a much higher concentration of phytochemicals (bioactive compounds in foods that may reduce risk of chronic disease).
What About Smoothies?
The term "smoothie" has become synonymous with "health", but many commercially made smoothies are full of sugar. Take for example the Odwalla Citrus C Monster Smoothie. The only actual whole fruit in it is half a peach and the rest of the "fruit" comes from fruit juice. It has 52 grams of sugar! Granted, this is not added sugar, but these are extra calories our bodies don't need.
What to do?
- Choose whole fruit over fruit juices
- Limit fruit juices to less than 8 ounces per day
- Make your own low-sugar smoothies at home