It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

Does V-8 count as a serving of vegetables?

The dietitian at my local hospital is telling the diners that a glass of V-8 juice is the equivalent of having a serving of 8 vegetables. True?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

two glasses of tomato juice garnished with celery and surrounded by various vegetables

Such a claim is not true at all. 4 ounces of a vegetable juice cocktail like V8 might be the equivalent of ONE serving of vegetables.

Even if the glass were large - say 16 ounces - that would only be 4 servings.

I am not a big fan of drinking juice instead of eating veggies or fruit. Products like V8 are highly processed and you're better off eating 4 servings of fresh vegetables than drinking a large glass of juice.

Here's the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients from the v8 website:

Nutrition Information and ingredients of V8

Eating a tomato (which is one serving of vegetables) has as much fiber as 8 ounces of V8, for instance.

The V8 website claims that the benefits of drinking V8 include Vitamins A and C. Note that both are added to the product (beta carotene is converted by your body into Vitamin A).

V8 also contains a lot of added salt that most folks don't need.

Stick to fresh veggies.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet