When you buy jams and jellies from a grocery store or supermarket, you may notice that certain brands are sugar-free or organic. Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania suggest that jams and jellies that are organic and sugar-free can be better for you than their standard counterparts.
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Benefits of Sugar-Free
When you consume refined sugars, it will spike the blood sugar in your body. Although this provides your body with an immediate energy boost, it will leave you feeling lethargic and exhausted shortly after. When you select jams and jellies that are created without added sugar, it will prevent your body from experiencing the sugar crash that refined sugar can cause. Look for jams and jellies that advertise that they are sugar-free or created with 100 percent fruit.
Benefits of Organic
When you buy jams and jellies that are not organic, you cannot be sure that the fruits that the jams and jellies were made with do not contain residual herbicides or pesticides. Organic jams and jellies contain fruits that are grown without using chemicals. Look on the label to make sure it says "certified organic."
If you are not satisfied with the selection of sugar-free or 100 percent fruit jams and jellies at your supermarket, you can often find locally made jams and jellies at a farmer's market or local restaurant. Locally grown fruit is typically picked when it is perfectly ripe, making the jams and jellies extremely tasty and delicious.
Jams and jellies that do not contain added sugar will have nutritional differences from those that have sugar added. For example, you will see differences in sugar content when you compare Polaner All Fruit Concord Grape Jam that is sweetened with fruit juice to Welch's Concord grape jam that is sweetened with sugar. Although both jams contain 50 calories per 1 tbsp. of jam, the Polaner All Fruit Concord Grape Jam contains 5 g less sugar than the Welch's Concord Grape Jam.
Avoid eating jams and jellies that contain artificial sugars, such as aspartame or sorbitol. Artificial sugars are created using chemicals that some studies show to be toxic over time, resulting in potential tumor growths. Only purchase jams and jellies that contain natural ingredients, such as fresh fruit, pectin, honey or agave nectar.
- University of New Mexico; Glycemic Index: Weight Loss Sham or Sensation?; Jerry J. Mayo; 2010
- Princeton University; Why Buy Organic Food?; Namita Bisaria; 2008
- University of Pennsylvania; Eating Healthy on a Budget; Samantha Bond; 2011
- Polaner All Fruit: Nutritional Information
- Welch's: Welch’s Grape Jam