The amount of sugar in soft drinks might shock you - Virgin Pure

By Bob Fear

The amount of sugar in soft drinks might shock you - Virgin Pure

The amount of sugar in soft drinks might shock you         

We're consuming over three times as much added sugar a day as we should do and 40% of that sugar is coming from soft drinks.

According to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey, kids aged four to ten are consuming over twice as much added sugar as they should do and 30% of that comes from soft drinks, while toddlers under three are getting 27% of their added sugar from soft drinks. Cereals, cakes, biscuits, sweets and jams are the next biggest sources of added sugar.

Public Health England has also warned that fruit juices are fuelling tooth decay among toddlers and that parents should ensure that toddlers under three should only have water or milk. Plus, soft drinks are one of the drinks that can contribute to dehydration.

A leading nutrition scientist has suggested that all kids should only drink water with their meals while cutting down on fizzy drinks, squashes and fruit juices. We’ve put together a guide on how much sugar is in fizzy drinks, lemonade and how much sugar is in apple juice and smoothies.

The hidden sugar in your drinks

The latest recommendations are that adults and teenagers should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day; kids no more than five teaspoons and toddlers no more than three-and-a-half. Read on to our next section to find out the hidden sugar in your favourite drinks…

How much sugar is in fizzy drinks?

In the UK, the average can of fizzy drink contains 40g of carbohydrates. It also contains 150g of calories. A 330ml can of Coca Cola contains around 35g of sugar – which is about nine teaspoons. This amount of sugar will exceed your daily recommended amount, just in one can.

How much sugar is in apple juice?

Those little cartons of apple juice we all loved as kids might not be as good for us as we thought. Even though they can be made from apples (which we’d assume is a good thing), their sugar content is high. A kids’ carton of apple juice can contain 6 spoons of sugar. A 1L bottle of pure apple juice can contain 9.2g of sugar which is 15% of your average daily intake.

How much sugar is in a lemonade?

A bottle of classic lemonade is delicious and can be used to mix with lots of drinks. Unfortunately, this lemony carbonated drink contains lots of carbohydrates. A 1L bottle of lemonade contains 10.6g of sugar.

How much sugar is in a smoothie?

Because smoothies contain fruits, we probably think they’re good for us. Unfortunately, they contain a lot of ‘free’ sugars. This can make up to 24g of sugar and this could be 5% of our calorie intake. Smoothies retain the whole fruit, including the fibre, which can be great. Remember, that smoothies only count as 1 of your 5 a day – no matter how many glasses you drink.

How much sugar is in kid’s soft drinks, fruit juices and smoothies?

Now that we’ve outlined the sugar that’s in some of the most popular drinks, below is some information on even more drinks. Action On Sugar has highlighted the large amounts of sugar found in more soft drinks, fruit juice drinks and smoothies - particularly those purposefully packaged and marketed towards kids:

infographic: how much sugar in soft drinks?

How to cut down on sugar intake

Health experts say that eating fresh whole fruit is the best way to satisfy our sweet tooth.

Naturally occurring sugar always comes packed up along with fibre, vitamins, minerals and water - in the form of fruit and some vegetables like peas and sweetcorn - so we're best off getting our daily dose the way nature intended.

Pure juices and smoothies have lots of sugar and less fibre - not so good for you or your kids.

So, will you carry on buying soft drinks, juices & smoothies that have lots of sugar for your kids or will you try to go sugar free? Either way, let’s make sure the kid’s water intake is also up to scratch! Next, find out with our handy article the surprising side effects artificial sweeteners can have.

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