The American Academy of Pediatrics says juice in general can be part of a good, healthy diet.  However, fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for babies under the age of six months.  Fruit juice also has no benefits over whole fruit for older children.  Not only that, apple juice contains trace amounts of arsenic. 

You  might think, arsenic in my apple juice?  That's not the kicker.  Health officials say the real danger of apple juice is the number it does on your waistline and your teeth.  Apple juice has few natural nutrients and lots of calories. 

In some cases, certain brands of apple juice can have more sugar than soda.  Who knew?  It also gets your child use to sugary drinks at a young age so they get hooked to sweet things, adding to the problem of childhood obesity.  And of course, getting hooked on sweet things can cause cavities and tooth decay.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, you know the doctor on TV, was the one that raised the awareness of arsenic in apple juice a few months ago.  His show conducted tests on apple juice through a private lab creating, what some say, was a false alarm.  The Food & Drug Administration did their own conflicting tests, disagreeing with Dr. Oz's findings and found apple juice is safe.  The FDA does plan, however, to look at whether its restrictions on the amount of arsenic in apple juice is strict enough.

So obviously, there are conflicting viewpoints on apple juice and juice as a whole.  I remember growing up, we were only allowed to drink water, milk  or orange juice in my house.  We typically brought all natural orange juice with few artifical ingredients added.  My brother nor I were ever obese in our childhood.  My Mom didn't want us drinking apple juice because it had a lot of sugar and artifical ingredients.  I've even found cutting sugary drinks out of my diet now, with the exception of iced tea and coffee, drinking no juice or soda makes me drink more water.  It also cuts more sugar out of my daily intake, helping me to shed a few pounds.  It works for me only because I love sugary foods so cutting out the sugary drinks and limiting my intake makes a huge difference. 

Do you drink a lot of soda or juice?  Have you found cutting back or eliminating it completely from your diet helped you lose weight?