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Love it, Like it, Hate it: Fruit Spreads

Don’t get yourself in a jam by buying the wrong strawberry preserves! Some are made with real, whole fruit and can be a great addition to a wholesome breakfast or the perfect PB&J, but many are made with more added sugar than real fruit – and some contain no real fruit at all!


And since the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is just a few short weeks away, in today’s Love it, Like it, Hate it segment, Molly gives us the skinny on the best & worst of strawberry jams, jellies, & preserves.



Jelly, jam & preserves: Typically all made from fruit mixed with sugar & pectin (a carbohydrate found in cell walls of most fruit that gels to add thickness). The main difference is the form that the fruit takes:


  • Jelly: fruit juice is used
  • Jam: fruit is in the form of pulp or crushed fruit; texture is more similar to pureed fruit
  • Preserves: fruit is in chunks or pieces, surrounded by a syrup or a jam






Grandma Hoerners Organic Reduced Sugar Preserves (Whole Foods)

  • 30 calories – 7 grams carbs – 6 grams sugar — still made with real sugar, just less of it.
  • Organic strawberries, organic sugar, water, fruit pectin, citric acid, calcium chloride


Polaner All Fruit with Fiber (Rouses, Walmart + most grocery stores)

  • 35 calories – 10 grams carbs – 6 grams sugar (+ 3 grams fiber from maltodextrin)
  • Juice concentrates (pear, grape, pineapple), strawberries, maltodextrin, fruit pectin, citric acid


Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Strawberry Preserves (available online)

  • 20 calories – 7 grams carbs – 2 grams effective carbs – 0 sugar
  • Strawberries, xylitol, spring water, fruit pectin, citric acid (Xylitol provides 2.4 cals/gram)


DIY Swerve-Sweetened Jam by Elmwood Fitness Center Registered Dietitian Rebecca Miller

  • 10 calories – 2 grams carbs – 1 gram sugar
  • Real fruit, pectin, Swerve Sugar Replacer (Recipes for Pear Jam & Cranberry Pepper Jelly)






Smucker’s Sugar Free Strawberry Preserves (Rouses, Walmart + most grocery stores)

  • 10 calories – 5 grams carbs – 0 sugar (+ 3 grams fiber from maltodextrin)
  • Water, strawberries, polydextrose, maltodextrin, fruit pectin, locust bean gum, natural flavor, citric acid, potassium sorbate, sucralose (Splenda), calcium chloride, red dye 40
  • Very low in calories with zero sugar, but made with artificial sweetener + artificial color


St. Dalfour Strawberry Spread (Rouses)

  • 50 calories – 12 grams carbs – 11 grams sugar
  • Strawberries, grape and date fruit juice concentrates, fruit pectin, lemon juice (no added sugar)








Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly

  • 50 calories – 13 grams carbs – 12 grams sugar
  • Strawberry juice, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fruit pectin, citric acid (no real strawberries)


Welches Strawberry Spread

  • 50 calories – 13 grams carbs – 13 grams sugar
  • Strawberries, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, fruit pectin, grape juice concentrate…

“Every {22-ounce} bottle starts with half a pint of strawberries {4-5 ounces}” — but contains 3 types of added sugars to make up the rest of the 17-18 ounces in the bottle.