>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I don't know why this one always catches me off guard, but it does. Today's surprising HFCS food of the week is JUICE! I guess I always find it surprising because juice is thought to be so good for you, and yet it's so often a little juice floating in a sea of HFCS or sugar.
I was shopping for cranberry juice a couple of weeks ago and picked up some Langers Cranberry juice. I've gotten this brand before and was happy with is. So, I was surprised when I flipped it around to glance at the ingredients and saw that HFCS was the second ingredient! Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail is not immune - HFCS is the third ingredient (at least it's after cranberry juice this time!). Not all Langers and Ocean Spray juices contain HFCS - it pays to read those ingredients! Langers Plus juices, for example, use only other fruit juices to sweeten their cranberry juice - no HFCS or sucrose.
So, what do you do? Read the ingredients! For kids' products, look for 100% juice products. Those products almost certainly contain apple juice as the main ingredient (not my favorite juice - it's one of the least nutritious juices out there - a junk juice to me!), but at least it isn't HFCS or a sugar syrup. There is still some redeeming value to apple juice - the same cannot be said for sugar syrup. The most nutritious bets for juice boxes are ones that use orange juice or concord grape juice - both great juices worth drinking - but those usually aren't my kids' favorites.
Honest Kids is one of our favorites in this category.
For adults and kids alike - HFCS or not - remember that fruit juices should be a treat and not the primary drink for the day. A little juice at breakfast or with a snack is fine and dandy, but fruit juice with breakfast, lunch, and dinner isn't recommended. Even the juices packed with good stuff - like orange, cranberry, pomegranate, and Concord grape juice - are also packed with sugar in the form of fructose.