Hamilton Food: Be 'sugar-smart' when shopping for OJ

(NC)-If you're anything like most shoppers, you're probably well-equipped with a handy list of items as you make your way to your corner grocer. Some shoppers like to arrange their grocery lists based on food groups, while others may arrange a list based on their grocer's departments. In addition to a grocery list, some of us carry a mental list of things to look out for on the products we buy. Perhaps you're bypassing products containing 'trans fats' but keeping an eye out on 'sodium-free' foods.

When it comes to fruit juices, be 'sugar-smart' and pay close attention to your juice labels. With all the options along the wall, it's easy to get confused about what juices are best for you and your family.

"Not all fruit juices are created equal, so it's important that you read labels carefully and look for 100 per cent pure and natural orange juice to make sure you're getting the most nutrient-dense option," says Lydia Knorr, MHSc., a registered dietitian with the Florida Department of Citrus. "Be a label-savvy shopper - juices may appear the same, but many contain added sugars and very little pure juice."

Here's a 'sugar-smart' list to keep in mind the next time you stroll down the juice aisle.

    Glass of Florida Orange Juice
  • Look for "100 per cent juice". It's pure, natural, nutrient-rich and found in whole fruit.
  • Watch for additions that may be misleading. Vitamin C-fortified beverages are different from 100 per cent pure juice and may contain added sugars, instead of natural sugars that are found in fresh fruit.
  • Remember shorter lists are better. A shorter list of ingredients means fewer additives.
  • Beware of "drinks," "ades," "punches," "cocktails" and other cleverly worded "beverages." These drinks have added sugars, don't have the same nutrient profile as 100 per cent juices and don't help fulfill fruit intake recommendations.
  • Know that Florida means quality juice. Pure Florida juice is sweet and delicious, containing naturally-occurring sugars that provide sustained and stable energy levels.

More information on recipes and health benefits can be found online at www.floridacitrus.ca.


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