Packaged fruit juices not as healthy as parents think

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Researchers say parents who assume packaged fruit juices are healthy for kids are very wrong. (KTRK)

For many of us, a glass of orange juice in the morning is a vital part of breakfast. Or we'll give our kids a glass of apple juice instead of a sugary drink. So is it really healthier?

Researchers say assuming packaged fruit juices are healthy for kids is wrong. Although fruit juice makers have reduced the sugar and added non-caloric sweeteners, many still have "unacceptably high levels of sugar."

For instance, orange juice can have up to 45 grams of sugar, in the form of fructose. Sodas average 50.

The sweetest is one popular brand of 100 percent apple juice, with nearly 66 grams of fructose. That's more than the 62 grams in Coca-Cola!

It's also more than the daily recommended intake for kids. Researchers say non-caloric sweeteners are also a problem because kids develop a craving for the sweet drinks.

Lastly, juices help kids get several servings of fruit in a glass. But they're missing one important thing: the fiber. So it's better to have them actually eat a piece of fruit.
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