You are invited to Brunch at a friend’s, you go through the line and put on your plate the breakfast burrito they are serving along with fresh fruit and some yogurt and granola. Next, you get to the end of the line and your hostess is serving both orange and apple juice…which one do you go for? Orange, Apple, neither and just get water? Do you have a personal preference? Do you know which one is more beneficial for you? For me I feel like both taste good, but is there a better juice? We are going to look at the differences, the nutrition, and the facts about both juices to try and answer the question Apple Juice vs Orange Juice: Which one is best?
Both Apple and Orange juice are great options in moderation and good for your immune system. Being good for your immune system is mostly credited to the amount of vitamin C (sometimes labeled as ascorbic acid, especially if added and not naturally present) in the juices. As we look at the comparison table below, which one do you think is going to have more grams of sugar? The below amounts are all measured as an eight-ounce serving of juice.
The Juice Comparison Chart
|Nutrient||Orange Juice 8 oz (one serving) Florida’s Natural No Pulp||Orange Juice Simply Orange 8oz (one serving) No Pulp||Apple Juice Mott’s 100% Apple Juice 8 oz (one serving)||Apple Juice Simply Apple 8 oz (one serving)||The “winner” – Will either be Orange Juice or Apple Juice|
|Total Fat||0 g||0g||0 g||0g||–|
|Sodium||10 mg||0 mg||30 mg||0 mg||Orange|
|Total Carbohydrates||27 g||26 g||29 g||27 g||Orange|
|Total Sugars||24 g||23 g||28 g||25g||Orange|
|Protein||2 g||2 g||0 g||0g||Orange|
|Iron||0.3 mg||0 g||0.9 g||0g||Apple|
|Vitamin C||90% DV*||90% DV||108 mg 120% DV||0% DV||Orange – I give orange this one because it is naturally found in orange juice but is added to the apple juice.|
|Calcium||20 mg||20mg||0 mg||0mg||Orange|
|Potassium||450 mg||450mg||290 mg||240mg||Orange|
*The DV’s in the above chart are the daily values. This is a standard regulated by the FDA to help identify what we need for nutrients on a daily basis. It is usually based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The Orange Juice vs Apple Juice Nutritional Findings
I hope you found the table above helpful in identifying the differences in nutritional value between orange juice and apple juice. At first glance you can see that orange juice offers more for your diet. In some of the area’s orange juice won, apple juice was just barely under it in nutritional value. Also, Apple Juice had higher sugar content compared to less sugar in orange juice. If you guessed that Apple has more sugar content, then you were right! Orange juice doesn’t have as much sugar.
Another interesting fact in this comparison is how orange juice/oranges are naturally a vitamin c powerhouse. Apple Juice only has it in there because it has 108 mg of vitamin c added after the fact. It is usually better to look for foods that naturally contain vitamins and minerals that you need.
Though it isn’t good to drink a lot of juice, a moderate amount can be part of a healthy diet. If you drink too much juice it could contribute to tooth decay, gastrointestinal issues, and weight gain to name a few.
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Health Benefits of Apple Juice
Antioxidants are present in apple juice, and this helps control the free radicals in your body. Apple juice may also help support heart health and your brain as you age. Another benefit of apple juice is the potassium that it contains.
Health Benefits of Orange Juice
A glass of orange juice has more health benefits than I realized. Orange juice like Apple juice also has antioxidants and nutrients that your body uses. It may help your blood pressure be at a healthy level which in turn may improve your heart health. Keep in mind moderation is best, there are healthy things about Orange Juice, but it is good to remember that it is high in sugar which can be unhealthy for your blood sugar levels.
Apples are one of the highest containing fruits of malic acid and it is also found in oranges. Malic Acid is naturally found in both fruits and may help with kidney stones and is extracted and used in skincare products to help improve skin health.
Malic Acid is found in both the whole fruit form of apples and oranges and the juice forms.
Apple Juice is sweet, tasty, and refreshing. It’s a more commonly a clear juice that has a golden color to it and sometimes it is cloudy.
Orange Juice is made from the citrus fruit Oranges. Though sweet it has a tarter flavor, more tart than apple juice. It also is not clear but opaque and like its name suggests is a light orange color.
A look at prices for Orange Juice vs Apple Juice (5-30-2023)
|Apple Juice Motts||Motts 2 pack, 84 oz ea. Total Price: $6.58 Price per oz: $0.04||Motts 1 pack, 64 oz Total Price: $3.58 Price per oz: $0.06|
|Simply Apple||Not Available||Simply 1 pack, 52 oz Total Price: $3.98 Price per oz: $0.08|
|Orange Juice Florida’s Natural||Not Available in Florida’s Natural |
Tropicana 2 Pack, 96 oz ea. Total Price: 10.98 Price per oz: $0.06
|Florida’s 1 pack, 89 oz Total Price: $5.38 Price per oz: $0.06|
|Simply Orange||Simply 2 Pack, 52 oz ea. Total Price: $6.97 Price per oz: $0.07||Simply 1 pack, 52 oz Total Price: $3.98 Price per oz: $0.08|
Your choices at the grocery store:
Have you ever looked at juice options in the store and felt overwhelmed! I don’t buy juice a lot, but I noticed how there are a lot of different options! Whether it be brands, juice blends, in the juice isle, the cooler section, or frozen concentrate in the freezer section. Let’s look at some things to consider to make the best choice when shopping for orange or apple juice.
Percent of Juice:
A lot of juices on the shelf only contain a certain amount of juice. Watch for this because it greatly reduces the nutritional benefit of juices. Usually they are labeled “Juice Cocktail”. Make sure to find the juice options that say “100% Juice” which is for sure a better option for you! You can usually find the juice amounts above the nutritional label.
Natural Sugars vs Added Sugars
Did you know there was a difference? Natural sugar is the sugar that is already present in a food. So, you squeeze out the orange juice and there is sugar in that juice. This is naturally occurring sugar.
Then you have situations where a product or juice is made and then on top of any sugar that might be present in the product, they add sugar to it whether it be in the form of white sugar, corn syrup, etc. these are added sugars.
It is best to find juices that have no added sugar to them. This is a healthier choice.
Is there a difference between whole apples and oranges and their juices?
Dietary Fiber is one of the biggest differences between juice and whole fruit. And like mentioned above apple juice goes through processing that rids it of its naturally found vitamin C. As a rule of thumb, the less processing it has gone through the more available nutrients it is going to have. Remember that doesn’t mean that apple and orange juice doesn’t have any nutritional value just that you can get more nutrition from eating the whole fruit.
Why is apple juice cloudy sometimes?
Seeing cloudy apple juice might make you feel like it is no good while in some cases this may be true the most common reason for apple juice being cloudy is because of the way it is made. Clear apple juice has gone through a heating process that “purifies” it and makes it clear. On the other hand, cloudy apple juice is usually browner in color (like the simply apple brand). Cloudy Apple juice has apple solids that are suspended throughout the juice and usually results in a healthier apple juice option. This holds true in our comparison earlier showing the nutritional differences between Mott’s and Simply Apple. Cloudy Apple Juice is also known as Apple Cider.
What does “from concentrate” mean?
When applied to juices, from concentrate means that the juice was extracted and then went through a process to extract or evaporate some of the water from the juice. This leaves the juice in a more concentrated form. It then gets stored and then when the juice company is ready to use it, they will rehydrate it to be bottled and sold.
Which is better for you then? Juice from concentrate or not from concentrate?
From concentrate doesn’t make a big difference as long as there aren’t any added sugars or preservatives. You can know that by looking at the nutrition label and ingredient label on the juice you are looking to buy. There is an added sugar category on the nutrition label where you can see if any sugar has been added. However, to take juice through the concentration process a lot of times it has to be heated which can destroy some of the naturally occurring vitamin C.
Apple Cider as an option:
Apple cider is a great option and generally is a healthier option compared to apple juice. This is because apple cider is usually fresh squeezed and goes through minimal processing. Whereas apple juice is pasteurized and goes through processing to make it have a longer shelf life.
Unfortunately, it can be harder to find apple cider and usually is a seasonal beverage being easiest to find in the fall season.
What does each juice pair nicely with?
- Eggs – Scrambled, fried, egg sandwich, egg breakfast burrito, boiled
- Apple (like in a fruit salad)
- In marinades for the acidic portion
- Cheese and crackers
Different Types of Juice to Choose From
There are so many popular types of juice to choose from. Here are just a few more:
- Grape Juice
- Grapefruit Juice
- Cranberry Juice
- Vegetable Juice like carrot juice
- Tomato Juice
In conclusion orange juice overall is a better choice nutritionally than apple juice. However, I think you can consider both healthy beverages and a good option in your diet, when consumed in moderation. I hope you learned something new. Thanks for reading, Orange Juice vs Apple Juice: Which one is best?
Mariah Nienhuis, NDTR
*Note: This post is intended for the general healthy population. It is not personalized nutrition advice and if you are in need of this please visit your doctor/health care professional for specific advice. *
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How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalms 119:103
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