The release today of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian Dietary Guidelines and the decision to retain the existing 125ml of fruit juice as being equivalent to a fruit serve for children has been welcomed by the fruit juice industry.
The recommendation is included in the revised Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, a key document that supports the Australian Dietary Guidelines, released today by the Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek.
The NHMRC’s decision to retain the recommendation of 125ml of fruit juice per day in the Guidelines reaffirms FJA’s conviction that 100% fruit juice can be a beneficial part of a healthy, balanced diet for active Australians.
The recommendation is in keeping with peak body Fruit Juice Australia’s (FJA) suggested portion size in recent years.
Citing both the NHMRC’s own equivalence modelling and 2010 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines, FJA suggested the daily intake can be increased to 200ml of unsweetened fruit juice within a healthy balanced diet. While this recommendation was not adopted, FJA is pleased fruit juice continues to be recognised as a dietary positive.
100% fruit juice is full of beneficial micronutrients for children, such as vitamin C, folate and potassium and a small glass (125ml) of 100% unsweetened fruit juice can count as a daily fruit serve, as part of a balanced diet.
FJA Chief Executive, Geoff Parker, said fruit juice has an important role in the diet of all Australians, especially children and adolescents. The key outtake for parents reading the Dietary Guidelines should be moderation and portion control.
“Too much of any food or beverage is not good in achieving a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle,” Mr Parker said.
“Fruit Juice Australia emphasises the importance for children and adolescents of 100% fruit juice options to help deliver essential vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
“The new Dietary Guidelines have confirmed Fruit Juice Australia’s position – that a small glass of fruit juice can be a beneficial part of a healthy, balanced diet for people who undertake regular physical activity.
“Without juice, many children and adolescents don’t get their recommended serve of fruit each day. More than 50% of children up to age 13 and almost 99% of Australian teenagers up to 16 fail to reach the recommended requirements of fruit intake,” Mr Parker said.