You (or your kids) should quaff juice like it's water.
Overdo the juice and you risk both tooth decay and weight gain. Younger kids also up their odds for problems like diarrhea and upset stomach, says Los Angeles-based dietitian and nutrition consultant Bettye Nowlin.
How much is too much? "Women 31 to 50 years of age need 12 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) of fruit each day, but no more than 50 percent should come from juice," Nowlin explains. For children 1 to 6 years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting fruit juice intake to 4 to 6 oz. per day, which would give them no more than 1/3 of their daily fruit servings from juice, says Theresa Nicklas, a professor of pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine. According to the USDA, older kids and teens should cap the juice at 6 oz. per day.
You can ignore bottle labels.
Why you should read closely: Words like "juice drink," "punch," "cocktail," "-ade" or "beverage" are red flags that you're really getting a soft drink with too much sugar and too few nutrients. Instead, look for the key phrase "100 percent fruit juice" on the front of the label, says Nowlin. "If the label mentions 100 percent vitamin C,' that's even better," she adds.
Juice is always a better bet than soda.
Think juice trumps soda every time? Maybe not. "100 percent fruit juice contains some valuable nutrients, namely vitamin C, potassium and magnesium," says Nicklas. However, even 100 percent fruit juice can contain amounts of calories, carbs and sugar similar to those of soda! Proof that water should sometimes be your beverage of choice!