Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Beware of too much sugar in ‘healthy’ fruit drinks

LONDON: 'Healthy' drinks may not be that healthy - these often contain far more sugar than people realize and can actually add up to 450 calories a day to one's diet, researchers have warned.

A team at Glasgow University has based its findings on a survey in which it asked more than 2,000 people in the UK to estimate how much sugar was in a range of drinks, the Daily Mail reported.

While many overestimated the amount of sugar in fizzy beverages, they underestimated levels in smoothies and fruit juices. The researchers also found that soft drinks account for a most of their recommended calorie intake.

The participants were asked to guess number of teaspoons of sugar in a range of popular drinks. They underestimated it for pure apple juice and orange juice, a caffeinated energy drink and a smoothie by between two and four teaspoons. For a pomegranate-based drink, they underestimated the sugar content as nearly 18 teaspoons.

The survey suggests the average person in the UK consumes 3,144 calories a week through non-alcoholic liquid intake - this adds around 450 calories a day to one's diets. Prof Naveed Sattar, who led the survey, said, "What you drink can be as damaging to the body consuming too many sugar-sweetened drinks can greatly contribute to abdominal obesity."

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