It’s no secret that bottled juices, juice cartons, and juice concentrates are regular grocery items for the average person. People purchase these types of juice varieties to satisfy nutritional requirements, for example, their recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C. What people fail to realize is that many of these juices, especially juice concentrates, are not created equal. Some juice concentrates are healthy, while others have almost no nutritional value.
What Is Concentrate Juice?
The term “concentrate” simply means that water has been extracted from the fruit. Juice concentrates are typically frozen and give the instruction to add water on the label. Speaking of nutrition labels, how do you know which juice concentrate to purchase? Will it be as beneficial as you hope it will?
The reality is that many people overlook nutrition labels, specifically the ingredients section. Some bottled juices, for instance, contain less than two percent of actual fruit juice. The first two ingredients are most commonly water and sugar. When it comes to juice concentrates, it is paramount to avoid added sugars, which are most commonly present in mixed juice concentrates. The juice concentrate should say 100% juice, and the ingredient list should only have the fruits that were used to obtain the juice. Steer clear of juice concentrates that contain high fructose corn syrup and added sugars because drinking those is essentially the same as drinking soda.
Juice Concentrates Vs. Whole Fruits:
The nutritional value of juice concentrates will vary if the concentrates contain added sugars, chemical additives, or artificial flavors/colors. If the fruit juice concentrates contain all of the aforementioned processed ingredients, you are essentially consuming pure sugar, which can increase your risk of obesity and diabetes. There are juice concentrates that are 100% fruit juice with no additives or preservatives. Those concentrates provide the same vitamins and minerals that can be found in freshly made juices using whole fruits and vegetables. The great thing about whole fruits and vegetables is that they never contain any added sugars or artificial flavors. You only have to concern yourself with the growing conditions and whether or not GMOs were used.
Most people drink fruit juice concentrates to obtain their daily dose of vitamin C. Drinking too many juice concentrates, however, can become problematic because they don’t provide a wide range of essential nutrients like whole fruits do. Juice concentrates are typically rich in vitamin C and lack the fiber and other vitamins, minerals, and health properties found in fresh fruits. Relying on fruit juice concentrate to satisfy your RDI of fruit is not a healthy decision. It is much healthier to consume whole fruits.
When making your decision to purchase fruit juice concentrate, make sure to avoid anything that is labeled “punch” or “beverage.” Both of those terms undoubtedly contain added sugars, additives, and preservatives. Added sugars and preservatives typically increase the number of calories, sugars, and total fat per serving. Always read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists, people! You never know what companies try to hide in products that you think are fresh and healthy.