This Is What '100% Juice' Really Means

The USDA recommends that the average adult eat at least 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit per day. There are a lot of benefits to eating that daily recommended amount. From apples to watermelon and everything in between, fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber (via Healthline). To hit your minimum intake, you don't have to raid the produce section at the grocery store or drop hundreds of dollars at Whole Foods, either. 

You can also eat canned or dried fruit or drink fruit juice, like apple, orange, or cranberry juice. "In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the fruit group," the USDA explains. The only downside, however, to some of those processed fruit products is that they can be laden with sugar and other additives. To prevent grabbing something not-so-great for you, you might filter your shopping to only include items that claim to be made with "100% juice." But what does that label actually mean? Here's what you should know before the next time you head to the store.

It contains juice that comes from any fruit or vegetable

What's really in the "100% juice" you're drinking (or spooning out of a cup of Del Monte pineapples)? For starters, rest assured that what you're consuming really is fruit juice — it just might not be juice from the specific fruit you think you're eating or drinking. According to Mental Floss, because pure fruit juice is very expensive to produce, many manufacturers cut costs by diluting pricier juices with those that are cheaper, like apple, pear, or white grape.

To determine what's in your juice or fruit product, your best bet is to simply read the ingredients label instead of trusting any marketing claims to make sure the juice included is the fruit you're expecting. Words to be wary of on the front of the package include "beverage," "drink," and "cocktail" (via Public Goods). All of these indicate that your juice is diluted with something else and isn't 100% pure fruit juice.