As the media has been reporting on sugar consumption of late, health authorities warn that readily available and highly nutritious fruit juices are brimming with sugar…
Added: 21st May 2014
The recent Change4Life campaign seems to have had very little impact in reducing daily sugar consumption, especially since the sugar-free products it promotes contain sweeteners which can have similar health consequences.
A simple comparison of nutritious elements in apple juice, for instance, and fizzy drinks will yield similar levels of sugar, but apple juice will undoubtedly provide many more essential vitamins and minerals. So, what is all the fuss about?
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that all age groups exceeded the daily recommended sugar intake (11 per cent of total calories). Fruit juice was singled out as one of the culprits, being responsible for sugar excess in a daily diet.
This study understandably upset the applecart, but not because fruit juice is unhealthy, but because the media referred to the sweetened juice available in supermarkets as general ‘fruit juice’. The extra sweetened juice available by commercial brands in supermarkets has tarred the image of fruit juice in general.
Not only is pure fruit juice not harmful, but absolutely vital to our daily existence – but everything in balance. In fact, according to Dr. Alison Tedstone, Public Health England’s Chief Nutritionist, even sweetened fruit juice remains a recommended option in the national five-a-day fruit portion intake strategy. However, drinking more than one glass of fruit juice a day at the current level of sugar concentration can increase the sugar intake to undesirable levels.
Ultimately, people should realise that the cheap sweetened juice is something that contains a lot of sugar, and even real fruit juice should be consumed in moderation. So enjoy using fresh juice dispensers when your thirst needs quenching, but also take a trip to the water dispenser when you want a larger or more regular daily drink.