Theoretically, opting for a fruit-based spice should reward you with some sort of automatic award for healthy eating. In reality, most of the jams, jellies, and other fruity toppers that we have slurried on our morning toast aren't doing us much of a favor in the nutrition department.
According to nutritionist and natural chef Karyn Forsyth Duggan, M.S., BBS, the big problem with jam bought in the store can be summed up in one word: “Sugar!” She says. “Popular jam brands can contain more than 3 teaspoons of sugar per tablespoon of jam. That doesn't seem like much, but if you consume about 2 tablespoons of jam on something that's already a little sweet, like For example, a freshly baked scone or a popular bread brand that can contain up to 5 grams of sugar per slice starts to add up pretty quickly. Without realizing it, you may have accidentally consumed something that is roughly the equivalent (in terms of sugar content) of a lemonade! "
It is important to note, of course, that occasional sugar consumption does not necessarily mean that you are sabotaging your general wellbeing. "Jams contain natural and added sugar, but that doesn't make them" unhealthy, "" says Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutritional communications at the International Food Information Council. “Regardless of whether you buy jam in a shop, at a farmers market or at home, sugar is added to the jam out of necessity – to act as a natural preservative and to achieve the right consistency of the gel. The contribution of a food to health (positive or negative) depends on how much of it you eat and what else your diet consists of. That said, some jams contain more sugar than others. If you want to reduce the amount of added sugar that you consume from jam, compare the nutritional information as you shop and choose varieties that contain less sugar. "
About these labels: According to Duggan, newer jam brands do a little better when it comes to lowering sugar levels. As nutritional labels were updated in July 2018, more sugar is added to products, but “Manufacturers are not required to provide information to understand how much sugar is in their products, i.e. most people don't know how to interpret a gram! "Duggan offers a simple rule of thumb for analyzing labels when there are no instructions provided by the manufacturer:" Divide the total amount of sugar by 4, "she says. “This gives you a picture of the number of teaspoons. For example, if your jam of your choice contains 8 g of sugar, you now know that this corresponds to 2 teaspoons of sugar.
But if you think jams with reduced or low sugar levels are safer, be careful. "The most important thing to watch out for in-store jam is the addition of sugar (cane sugar, corn syrup, etc.)," said Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC, registered nutritionist and health advisor for inclusive nutrition. "Artificial sweeteners can also be problematic because they can cause you to expect a higher level of sweetness, which makes it more difficult to be satisfied with naturally sweet foods."
Another thing about in-store jams is that their eye-catching labels may indicate that they contain ingredients that they don't contain – such as fruit. "Many jams and jellies bought in the store do not contain any real fruit," says sports dietitian Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD. “Often those who have very little fruit and tend to consist of various refined or ultra-processed sugars as well as artificial colors and flavors. Once you reach for a product like this in a blue moon, it won't harm or affect your health. If you enjoy it regularly throughout the week, you should rethink your purchase or consider making your own. "
"Food companies often add jams like high fructose corn syrup and / or corn syrup to add unhealthy ingredients to add sugar to the recipe," said Leah Silberman, RDNs, nutritionist. "Labels that claim their products are" natural "don't always mean that they don't contain added sugar."