Freshly picked or freshly squeezed fruit is an integral part of a good diet. Across the world, millions of people reach out for a healthy fruit juice everyday to supplement the nutrients and fiber they get from their regular diet. Health authorities and food regulators in different parts of the world have varying recommendations, but they all agree on the benefits of healthy fruit juice. Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes the need for fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
However, a combination of growing demand, rising prices, and intense competition have transformed the mainstream juice manufacturing industry. Over the past few decades, commercial fruit juice has become increasingly processed and decidedly less healthy. In an attempt to boost the shelf-life and reduce costs of manufacturing fruit juice, producers have settled on a cocktail of high-fructose corn syrup, concentrate, preservatives, and artificial flavoring. The result is a soft drink that masquerades as ‘healthy fruit juice’ but is no healthier than a can of Cola.
Nevertheless, there are ways to pick out healthy fruit juices from the unhealthy ones. Here’s how you can select the best fruit juices for you and your family:
● Pick the right fruit
Picking the right fruit is the first step in ensuring your fruit juice is healthy. Certain fruits simply have too much natural sugar (fructose) or too little nutritional content to justify consumption. On the other hand, certain fruits, like the exotic superfood Mangosteen, are organically healthier. They have less natural sugar content and are loaded with healthy antioxidants and nutrients.
● Avoid certain ingredients
Avoid artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavouring, and artificial colours. Most of these ingredients are inserted for the manufacturer’s benefit, not yours.
● Understand the manufacturing process
The way a healthy fruit juice is processed and manufactured is just as important as what is in it. Manufacturers can keep their juices healthy by mixing a range of different fruits to create a more nourishing product. Proactively look for manufacturers who avoid artificial sweeteners, eschew preservatives, add the healthiest fruits, and closely follow the national GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) standards.
● Look for labels
Food and beverage labels are tightly regulated in Canada by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Study these labels carefully to see if a commercial fruit juice contains the desired amount of fruit and is actually healthy for you and your family.
To Sum Up
Fruits are universally accepted as an integral part of a healthy diet. Juices are a convenient alternative to fresh fruits, however manufacturing practices have deteriorated over the past few years. Intense competition and rising prices of raw fruit have compelled manufacturers to reduce nutrients and add artificial enhancers to sell products.
Armed with the right information, you can pick out organic and healthy fruit juice. Read the labels, avoid artificial enhancers, study the manufacturing process, look for good ingredients, and commit to brands that promise the use of new technologies and better practices to deliver a healthy juice your family can enjoy.