Q&A: Juice for Fruits and Vegetables

Yo, yo, yo! What’s up my peeps?

You must excuse the ’90s babble. I have been reminiscing over the crazy food we used to eat during my upbringing.

Remember this wonderfully nutrient-dense beverage?

Why ever would they remove it from the market?

Alright, enough of that! On to the real topic of the day: JUICE!

I received a question from a reader yesterday:

I find myself wanting to purchase more fresh fruit and produce but as a very busy and career driven 20-somthing I can’t eat what I buy before it goes bad.

I know that Fruits and Vegetables are important and I would like to eat them more often, but I need an easier way to get my recommended servings up.

With this in mind while grocery shopping recently, I stumbled upon Bolthouse Farms fruit smoothies.  The wrapper claim there are 8 servings of fruits or Veg per bottle depending on what you buy. So I bought one and it was very tasty.

I’m not an expert on nutrition labels but the numbers here seem to be pretty good.

So my question to you OTRTRD is this;  Can I meet my recommended servings of Fruits and Vegetables by substituting for one of these smoothies?


Thanks in advance,


Thanks for your question Nick!

You would be surprised how often I talk about juice with clients.

Let’s start with with defining the average daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables using the MyPlate tool.

Remember this bad boy?

Ohhhh yeahhhh.

For your typical American consuming a 2,000 calorie based diet the recommendations are as follows:

  • 6 ounces of Grains
  • 2 cups of Fruits
  • 3 cups of Vegetables
  • 6 ounces of Protein foods
  • 3 cups of Dairy


But what does a cup of fruit or vegetables constitute?

In general, 1 Cup of Fruit is the equivalent of 1 piece of whole fruit like an apple or a banana.  It could also mean 1 measured cup of fruits like strawberries or fruit cocktail (minus the juice).  Or 1/2 C  of dried fruit like raisins.


1 Cup of Vegetables is the equivalent of 1 measured cup of raw or cooked vegetables like corn or carrots or 2 cups of leafy greens.

1 cup of Juice is a single fruit serving equivalent.

This is not as big as you think it is.  Think Gramma’s little juice cups or kiddie cups.

Here is an example of 1/2 C of juice which is the equivalent of 1/2 C serving of fruit.

Teeny tiny, huh?

Let me just start off with the obvious: You get the biggest bang for your nutritional buck when you eat whole, fresh foods.  Eating uncooked, unprocessed foods will provide more vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc, etc, etc.

Juice is a calorically dense food.  It also is generally low in fiber, meaning, those calories you get are not going to fill you up.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with juice.  There are just better ways to get those fruit and vegetables servings in.

If you are currently not getting any fruits and vegetables in, then I say go for it! Drink juice!  Some fruit is better than no fruit. But, I would remind you to keep the benefits of whole fruits and vegetables in the back of your mind, and aim to get more servings of those in the day.  

Continuing on with our journey… Bolthouse Smoothies.

Note: There are 15.2 ounces in each bottle

Let’s do a little math:

1 C = 8 fl ounce
15.2 fl oz / 8 fl oz = 1.9 C

  2 fruit serving equivalents

Not exactly the 8 servings they claim, huh?

If you drink this bottle, you will get your recommended daily fruit servings.  Not any veggies, though.

Let’s compare:
2 C Bolthouse Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 240 calories
  • 58 g Carbohydrate
  • 54 g Sugar
  • <2 g Fiber

2 Whole Fruit Servings (1 banana and 1 C strawberries)

  • 198 calories
  • 51.3 g Carbohydrate
  • 26.7 g Sugar
  • 8.1 g Fiber

Interesting, huh? You loose a bit of the fibery goodness and gain a whole lotta sugar.

The choice is yours.

Well, I think my work here is done.

Hope this answered your question Nick, and anyone else out there wondering about juice.

What can I say, I’m long winded.

Peace out.


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