The survey carried out for a health campaign group found that 57 out of the 203 supermarket drinks tested had as much sugar as Coca-Cola, or more. A quarter of the drinks tested had at least six teaspoons for every 200ml glass, which is the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the World Health Organisation.
With this in mind, we’ve been speaking to Mr Rupert Allen, Lead Dietician at The Lister Hospital, London (http://www.thelisterhospital.com/) find to out about our recommended daily sugar intake and about the dangers of drinking fruit juice. With rising concerns that a high sugar intake is fuelling sharp increases in obesity rates, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, news that parents may be unknowingly feeding children smoothies with as much as 8 tsps of sugar, Mr Allen urges people and parents to eat fresh fruit rather than drink fruit juice.
Mr Rupert Allen, Lead Dietitian at The Lister Hospital, London answers some of our questions:
What is the current daily recommended sugar intake?
“The current recommendations for ‘added sugar’ is up to 10% of daily calories, which works out to be approximately 70g sugar per day for men and 50g sugar per day for women. Although a new report (from SACN – Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition) suggests this should be reduced to 5%.”
How much sugar is there in a glass of fruit juice?
“A glass of fruit juice contains around 13g sugar (typical serving 150ml, around 9g per 100g), although some fruit juice drinks may contain added sugar. A 150ml glass of fruit juice counts as 1 of your 5 a day and therefore provides vitamins and minerals. Unsweetened Fruit juice can also be a source of fibre, particularly if they contain fruit pulp.”
Are there any health benefits to drinking fruit juice? Is it more beneficial to eat fresh fruit instead of drinking juice, or is this still too high in sugar?
“Fresh fruit is generally more beneficial as the sugar is contained within the fruit structure, and is slower to be absorbed. Also fresh fruit will contain lots of fibre, which has many health benefits. Fruit will also fill you up more than fruit juice which may reduce the tendency to snack on other high sugar / high fat foods.”
Is there a difference between shop-bought juice and homemade fruit juice? Which is better for you and why?
“Fruit juice made at home is likely to be better for you, as it will contain plenty of pulp and flesh and therefore will be higher in fibre. You can also guarantee what and how much fruit is in the drink and therefore be assured there is no added sugar.”
What are the dangers of a high sugar intake?
“High sugar foods can cause tooth decay, especially if consumed regularly as a snack. High sugar foods also tend to be high in calories and therefore can contribute to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Also people who tend to have a high sugar intake tend to have a diet lower in other nutrients.”
Here are some other nutritional questions answered via Childalert
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