Original post : Jul 20, 2015

Do you know how much sugar is in your drinks?

Do you know how much sugar  is in your drinks?

The government has launched new guidance that only 7 tsp of sugar should be eaten a day.  That is 42g.  It sounds a lot but really it is not!

Amazingly a lot of the sugar is in the drinks we consume.  Of course it is in food as well, but the drinks always come as more of a surprise.

Think of those coffee shops that have sprung up all over the UK.  They are great, especially for being social and meeting friends.  However what do you drink when you get there? They offer so much more than a chance to have a chat.  They offer a dose of caffeine and for some people they are an important part of their daily routine.  But what else do their drinks contain?

When a people put on a little weight,  many people blame the biscuits or chocolate.  This may well be the case, but how many people have thought about how many lattes or glasses of orange juice they have drunk?

Perhaps there was a glass of fruit juice at breakfast, then a latte grabbed from the coffee shop on the way to work, another one at lunch time, perhaps a smoothie during the afternoon?

It might seem extreme to worry about this, but habits are where we get into trouble.

So when you stop to buy a drink, be it at a coffee shop, a newsagent or fast food outlet have you ever thought to think what might be in it?

For me discovering that fruit juice contained the same amount of sugar as a glass of coke was a shock.  Fruit juice does count as one of your five a day, the trouble is the sugar in a drink is much more easily processed by the body.  If you find it difficult not to drink a glass of fruit juice then have a small glass and perhaps add water to make it go further.

A smoothie, despite being the whole fruit is no better.  Once the walls of the fruit have been broken down the sugar is easily accessed and is quickly absorbed into the blood stream.  Eat whole fruit instead.  When fruit is eaten the body has to break down the fruit walls meaning that the sugar gets absorbed much more slowly and you get the added benefits of the fibre as well.

So back to the coffee shop.  Which drink to buy?  A white chocolate mocha with cream is 74g sugar and 25g fat.   A hot chocolate can be as much as  80g sugar.  Flavoured milk seems like a safe bet but contains around 42g sugar, so still a whole day's allowance, and a chocolate milkshake can be up to 102g sugar!

Other drinks such as energy drinks (some as much as 78g sugar)  and fizzy drinks (around  54g) are full of sugar and your daily sugar allowance will be gone before you know it.

Be sociable, enjoy a treat, but everything in moderation. 

Finally, it sounds boring but water is the best drink at work and at home.  Get into the habit and enjoy the freshness and purity.  Tap water is also free!  Water really is the best drink ever, especially in this hot and humid weather when summer has arrived.  

(examples of drinks taken from the Mail Online)


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