Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Exorbitant workloads, unrestrained responsibilities and rigid deadlines have left us with absolutely no time to care for our health. Regular exercise and home-made meals have taken a back seat while people are constantly on the lookout for effective yet less time-consuming ways to remain healthy. Fruit juices, considered as a quick-fix solution to those hunger pangs, act as a saviour in such times.
Since most of us have neither the inclination nor the time to cut and eat fruits, we are all opting to drink fruit juices. These packed and canned juices come with the promise to provide us with instant refreshment to stay healthy and are advertised as being a great alternative to eating fruits. But do all of them deliver on their promises?
Standing in the supermarket aisle, we wonder how to differentiate between the healthy juice and the unhealthy one. It is actually quite simple. In addition to the price, quantity, brand name and manufacturer’s address, make sure that you check the following as well:
· No add-ons: - Opt for those juices which have “No Sugar, No preservatives, No artificial colours and flavours”. This information is usually found on the front/back of the pack.
· Dates – There are three different dates mentioned on the packs –
· Shelf life – This is the length of time that a commodity can be stored on the shelf. In other words, a product may be unfit for sale, but not yet unfit for use. If you pick a pack which is past its shelf life, keep in mind that you store it properly and consume it as early as possible. Best before date – This means that the quality of the product is best before this date. This could refer to the flavour, taste or texture of the product. Usually, this is mentioned on the pack. If not, we can calculate for the duration specified from the date of manufacturing. Tropicana in Tetra Pak carton for instance are ‘Best Before Six Months From Manufacture’.
· Expiry date – Packs that are past their expiry date should not be consumed
· Nutrition chart – If you are looking for a healthy drink, you should certainly read through this chart.
· Calories - Pick up those juices which have the least number of calories and more of vital nutrients. When you pick up juices with added flavours and sugar, there is a chance of very high calorie content as well.
· Sugar – Do remember to check the sugar content. It is always good to go for the 100% juices which do not have any added sugar.
· Pulp – Check the nutrition label for the fibre content to make sure the juice has enough pulp content, especially if it claims to do so.
· Storage rules- Factors like temperature, humidity and light can affect the quality of a product, especially when it is with regard to highly perishable products like fruit juices. It is very crucial to read the storage rules and store juices accordingly. Tropicana in Tetra Pak carton can be kept outside until they are opened, after which they need to be refrigerated and consumed within 5 daysOne should also not buy the product if the pack is puffed and should always keep it away from direct sunlight.
So whenever you are pressed for time and see yourself stocking up on fruit juices, remember to spare a few minutes to go through the above checklist to make the right choice.
Stay healthy, stay happy!