Fruit juices and smoothies have ‘horrifying’ sugar levels

Much of the sugar in fruit juices is naturally occuring rather than extra. However, the NHS advises that fruit juice, limited to a 150ml serving, must only make up 1 of the five daily portions of fruit.

It warns that such drinks can injury teeth beause sugar that would otherwise be contained inside the construction of complete fruit is launched when the fruit is juiced or blended.

Action on Sugar, a campaign group, stated ministers should now act to get rid of fruit juices and smoothies from the recommendation, relegating sugary drinks to an “occasional treat”. The contact comes after Prof Susan Jebb, a government weight problems advisor, warned earlier this year that individuals must “swap” juice for a piece of fruit, or at least dilute it.

Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and Action on Sugar’s science director, mentioned: “The degree of sugar in some of these drinks is horrifying with a lot of containing nicely above the upper limit of 6 teaspoons free of charge sugar consumption advised by the Globe Health Organisation.

“In my view sugary drinks this kind of as these need to be consumed as an occasional deal with, probably as soon as a month.

“Scientific scientific studies have shown that consuming even 1 sugary drink a day is associated with a significantly elevated threat of building sort 2 diabetes even in normal fat men and women.

“The Division of Well being and the Foods Specifications Agency need to act immediately to get rid of fruit juice and smoothies from the ‘five a day’ suggestions and need to emphasise that these drinks ought to not be advisable to youthful kids as element of a healthy diet.”

Prof Paula Moynihan, professor of nutrition at the University of Newcastle, who advised the WHO on its sugar limits, added that a lot of of the drinks seemed “unnecessarily large”. Some of the drinks served by foods retailers amounted to almost two thirds of a litre.

One particular supermarket, Waitrose, stated it was introducing a new range of fruit juices with lowered levels of the substance – as effectively as replacing existing drinks – as it acknowleged they could include “high levels” of naturally occuring sugar.

The Telegraph carried out a survey of 50 fruit juices, smoothies and other fruit-based drinks located at a series of supermarkets, large street stores and meals retailers.

Of the objects surveyed, 21 contained much more than six teaspoons of sugar – which equates to close to 24g. Ten drinks contained 12 or more teaspoons of the substance.

Costa’s red berry cooler had the highest quantity of sugar, with a “massimo” (610ml) takeaway cup containing 97.1g of the substance, or around 24 teaspoons – four occasions the every day restrict now advised by the WHO.

Costa’s “tropical fruit” and “mango and passionfruit” drinks contain 23 and 17 teaspoons of sugar respectively in a massimo serving.

Other drinks containing twelve or far more teaspoons of sugar include Cafe Nero’s 655ml rasberry, orange and green tea “fruit booster”, with 17 teaspoons Starbucks’ “venti” (591ml) rasberry blackcurrent frappuccino with 14 teaspoons a massive (500ml) strawberry and banana iced fruit smoothie from McDonald’s, with 13 teaspoons, and Pret a Manger’s “beet stunning juice”, which has twelve teaspoons in a 400ml bottle.

A lot of of the drinks from coffee outlets and meals shops came in significantly bigger sizes than the bottles offered in supermarkets, or the recommended serving – normally amongst 150ml and 250ml – listed on bigger cartons of drinks.

Even so, of the 29 drinks containing six or much more teaspoons of sugar, 14 were from supermarkets. They included fruit juices and smoothies produced by Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Asda.

The huge bulk of the drinks – 41 – contained 5 or more teaspoons of sugar in a single serving.

Final week the WHO closed a consultation on new draft guidance which retains its present formal recommendation that no more than ten per cent of an individual’s every day calories should come from “free” sugar – the equivalent of twelve “level” teaspoons for the average grownup (1 degree teaspoon equates to around 4g). “Free” sugar is additional sugar, plus that naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.

Nonetheless, its proposed tips state that a further reduction to five per cent – about 6 teaspoons – “would have extra benefits”. A senior WHO official described the target as the “ideal” limit for which folks ought to now aim.

Merchants insisted that clear labelling, or dietary details detailed on their websites, enabled consumers to make “informed” choices.

A spokesman for Costa said: “Costa seeks to offer consumers with a decision of items across its drink and foods ranges, allowing them to choose decrease-calorie alternatives if they so want as properly as a far more indulgent occasional deal with.”

A spokesman for Pret a Manger mentioned: “We believe that all-natural sugars extracted from fresh fruit and veggies are a much better option to artificial sugars this kind of as aspartame and fructose-glucose syrups which are so frequently found nowadays.”

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