When you’re shopping for orange juice, it’s not always easy to tell which products offer the best nutrition. Package labeling that boasts about vitamin C content or the addition of calcium or vitamin D can make some juice products seem more nutritious than others. Then, of course, there are organic juices which everyone says are healthier than juices without an organic label — except sometimes they’re not!
As we noted in our previous post, the closer a food is to its natural source, the higher its nutritional value. When foods are processed, nutrients are lost at each step in the process. This is just as true of organic orange juice as it is of other juices found in the dairy section of your local grocery. Organic juices may be healthier than non-organic juices, but nothing beats the nutritional value of pure just-squeezed juice from a whole fresh Florida orange.
When you’re shopping, nutritionists suggest using the following hierarchy to determine the nutritional value of fruit juice. Products with the highest level of nutrition — and the least processing — are at the top of the chart.
- Fresh whole Florida orange
- Fresh-squeezed juice from Florida oranges
- Organic 100% orange juice, not from concentrate
- Processed 100% orange juice, not from concentrate
- Orange juice from concentrate
- Orange juice beverage