Saturday, April 22, 2017

Welch's Grape Juice: What's the difference between Heart Healthy and regular?

I am lucky in that our local Walmart Market allows online shopping and all I have to do is go pick up my groceries. I love that! It has its drawbacks but it does make large shopping trips easier.

The problem is their lack of information on products. Day before yesterday I did my online shopping. What I really like about it is that I can add things to the "list" throughout the week and then buy it all at once at the end of the week. Circling back around to day before yesterday....

I wanted some grape juice. I had been buying the smaller single serving bottles but I quickly realized that we were drinking more than usual since we changed our lifestyle to healthier eating. For this reason, I decided to go with a 64-oz bottle. I buy Welch's grape juice. Originally I tried the Great Value brand but it tasted to me like watered down grape Kool-aid. The ingredients lists juice but it just didn't taste like it to me. Welch's has that nice tart grape flavor we like.
As a quick side note, my adult children and I were having a conversation about my grape juice dilemma, which I'll outline in a moment, but the kids reminisced about how when they were kids, and heck, even now as adults, when they take communion they always wanted more than that little cup of grape juice. "It just tastes so good!" They're right.

As I online shopped, I thought I could just type in Welch's grape juice and easily find grape juice. I was wrong. My Walmart Market doesn't carry plain Welch's grape juice. I had a choice between a Heart Healthy or Calcium version. Hmmm. I wondered if that meant the Calcium version wasn't heart healthy? What about the plain juice I had been buying in the single serving bottles? 

I went to their website and was greeted with no information with their varieties of grape juices. That was disappointing. They did say that they use Concord grapes and they lecture about how studies have shown that Concord grapes help the heart and so on. So does that mean all their juices are heart healthy? If so, why didn't they label them all that way? 

Well, I bought both types. I brought them home and compared them as you can see in the photos, below.

Now it's interesting to note the differences. It looks like both are basically the same, ingredient wise. The only difference is the one with Calcium has, obviously added Calcium, but notice the nutritional change? The nutrition values of some important aspects drop and it's a rather large drop too.

It makes sense though. Let's see, what's a good analogy? Let's say you have a 1/2 cup of milk in a glass. If you add 1/4 cup of water, you will now have less milk only because the total volume is 3/4 cup. The nutritional value of what is in the cup is now different. You can pour some of it into a small glass but the values will remain the same. 

The addition of Calcium here caused a change in the volume vs. nutritional value. The Mayo Clinic says that roughly we need 1000 mg of Calcium a day. What a lot of people know is that if you don't get Vitamin D, your Calcium intake is useless. You must have Vitamin D in order for Calcium to do its job.

You don't necessarily have to drink milk to get your Calcium (but milk does make the world go around in my house) but green leafy vegetables are high in Calcium as are sardines and canned salmon. Vitamin D can be had by simple sun exposure (though many will warn of how bad the sun is for our skin, even though our ancestors for thousands of years have had exposure without sunscreen), egg yolks and also sardines and canned salmon. 

Personally, I would prefer to get my Calcium the nutritional way and simply enjoy the other benefits natural grape juice has. My local market doesn't have any "not from concentrate" grape juice, so I take what I can get here and I'm not convinced that concentrate is a bad thing. It's still juice. Fruit is always better but sometimes I want a refreshing fruity drink. I bet the same people who tell you not to drink juice order Margaritas, which is made from the juice of a fruit. 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

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