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Fruit Juices and Healthy smoothies have 'unacceptably high' levels of sugar

31/03/2016

Fruit Juices and Healthy smoothies have 'unacceptably high' levels of sugarMany parents try to prevent their kids from consuming too many soft drinks and opt instead for 'healthy' smoothies and natural fruit juices. But new research published in the online journal BMJ Open, shows that many of these so-called healthy options can contain as much as 13mg/100ml of sugar, which is the equivalent of 2.5 tsps in a 3.5oz serving - roughly two-thirds of a child's recommended daily intake.

In fact, the research paper goes so far as to describe the sugar levels found in some natural juices, smoothies and fruit drinks as "unacceptably high".

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 3-4 tsps of sugar per day for children and 5 tsps for teenagers.

It's a similar story in the UK, where NHS guidelines state no more than 4 tsps for children (aged 4-6) and 5 tsps at age 7-1o.

However, according to Yale Health, the average American consumes a whopping 22 tsps of added sugar every single day. For teenagers, this figure is even higher at 34 tsps.

Is it any surprise, though, when you consider that a single can of soda contains around 10 tsps alone.

The researchers from the Universities of Liverpool and London in the UK found that 40% of the 203 products they analysed contained more than 4 tsps of sugar; made up largely of "free" sugars - those added by the drink producer and not occurring naturally.

However, when quizzed about his team's findings, Dr. Simon Capewell's advice was that people shouldn't reduce their fruit intake.

"No. Fruit is very good for the health. Vegetables likewise. Indeed, we would recommend unlimited fruit and vegetables," he said.

The team does recommend consuming fruit whole, though, and not just in juice form.
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