A new study in the British Medical Journal found that 40% of juices and smoothies contained at least a child's entire daily recommended maximum sugar intake of 19g (almost 5 teaspoons). Yet these juices are exempt from the government's new sugar tax! The sugar from fruit is 'natural', for sure, but that doesn't mean it is good for you - deadly nightshade is natural too! Don't be lulled into the marketing ploy of an 'all-natural' juice - sugar is sugar, and we need to keep on top of our consumption.
Eat the fruit and keep the juice as an occasional indulgence rather than daily drink - especially when it comes to your kids - and when possible, dilute juices too. You will be more full, and take in less sugar, if you have an apple and a glass of water than straight apple juice. Or when you want a vitamin hit, try blitzing vegetables with a hint of fruit - that way you know it's as fresh as can be, will preserve all the nutrients and you'll know how much sugar you're drinking.
What other drinks to avoid?
Well there are obvious drinks to avoid such as a can of coke which we now know contains around 9 teaspoons of sugar - which is over the daily recommended total in a single can! But watch out for the 'healthy' alternatives too, it seems the diet versions may not be much better for us, with some studies showing that they can even lead to more weight gain than the full-sugar versions. Not to mention the sweeteners, which replace the sugar in these low-cal options. Though there is no definite evidence that they are harmful to our health, we are consuming them in greater and greater quantities, sometimes above the recommended 'safe' levels. Plus they do nothing to help reduce our sweet tooth and thus, our sugar cravings.
And don't forget the milky, flavoured coffees too that seem to go under-the-radar when it comes to considering sugar intake or calorie counting. Holding back on the daily latte can reduce your calorie intake by 2000 calories a week!
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