Is orange juice still an important breakfast component?

Dietician Mary McCreery tries to ease George's fear about the role of orange juice at the breakfast table.

George Hook was concerned today that orange juice isn't getting the good press that it used to.

Apparently, Americans are turning away from orange juice. The drink was considered a breakfast staple for decades, and has long been featured prominently in nearly every cereal ad as part of a "complete breakfast." 

But Americans' consumption of orange juice has been plunging in recent years, as awareness grows over the scant nutritional value of the drink.

That's why nutrition experts and health bloggers have been railing against orange juice in recent years. When you Google "orange juice good for you," the top results include posts titled "Why orange juice is slowly killing you," and "The #1 reason to avoid orange juice."

Sales of the juice are down 13% in the past four years, according to data from Nielsen.

Thanks to the rise of the juicing trend, however, a wide array of juices and smoothies are available as alternatives to orange juice.

Dietician Mary McCreery talked to George on High Noon today, and said that while it's not conclusively bad for you, there are more calories in juice than many would realise.  But Mary was quite upbeat about the importance of fruit in the daily diet.

'You can't just dismiss the importance of any fruit, whether it's a piece of fruit, or a juice box', Mary told George, as she maintained that it did have nutritional value.  She said the problem is that people don't notice the calorie count, and many think lots of juice won't make you fat.

So it seems that it depends what you're looking for from your fruit juice.

Listen in full to the interview below.