It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Do you have a healthy jam recipe?

With all the fresh fruits available during the summer I would like to know of a healthy jam recipe. My favorite flavors are strawberry, peach, grape, blackberry, and blueberry.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a plate of toast spread with jam along with fresh raspberries and blackberries

While jams, preserves and jellies are made with sugar, that doesn't mean they are unhealthy. This is a good example of how important it is to understand that there's not really any food that's bad for you (of course, almost any food eaten in excess can be).

Jams are made with fruit and sugar, with a bit of pectin for thickening. As a result, most of the calories are from sugar, with a tablespoon coming in at about 50 calories. That might seem to be a lot, but having a tablespoon on your toast every day is reasonable as part of eating well and eating healthy.

The University of Minnesota Extension site has great tips for making jams and jellies.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet