When it comes to trying to eat healthy, most people will do their best to avoid carbs and noticeable sugars, which is a good thing. Most of the time this can be done by making food and drink yourself at home and taking it with you. But this is not always possible.
It’s easy to look at juice bars, with all their fresh fruit and wheatgrass in the window, and think you’ve hit the healthy heaven jackpot. But this is not always the case. In some cases, it has been told that some smoothies and juices contain more sugar than a can of Coke.
An article published by The Guardian in 2016, found the epidemic of English children requiring major dental surgery directly relates to sugary foods and drinks. Professor Simon Capewell (department of public health and policy at the University of Liverpool) states:
“There is often a health halo – some claim about vitamin C or ‘packed full of fruit’. There are no restrictions around the words industry can use in their marketing. They can claim or imply quite a lot. Then we end up with more than a third of these drinks having more sugar in them than a cola or fizzy drink.”
In a paper co-authored by Prof Simon Capewell, researchers analysed 203 fruit juices, fruit drinks and smoothies stocked by seven major supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, the Co-op and Morrisons. They found almost half contained a child’s entire recommended daily intake of sugar, which is a maximum of 19g or nearly five teaspoons.
They looked for added sugar or naturally occurring sugars in the juices and smoothies. The average sugar content was 7g per 100ml, but in fruit juices and smoothies, it was significantly higher. Among the 21 fruit juices analysed, it averaged 10.7g per 100ml and among the 24 smoothies, it averaged 13g per 100ml.
While still not good, the sugar content in smoothies and juices appear to have come down when compared to a few years ago. In an article for the UK Telegraph, back in 2014, they stated:
“Some fruit juices and smoothies contain four times the amount of sugar the World Health Organisation recommends an average person should consume in a day, a Telegraph analysis shows.
A survey of 50 products from supermarkets, coffee shops and food outlets found that more than half contained at least six teaspoons of sugar, which is the recommended daily limit.
Two of the items — large fruit drinks from Costa, the coffee-shop chain — contained at least 23 teaspoons in a single serving.”
Therefore, if you are consuming large quantities of store bought smoothies, juices and fruit drinks, the chances of your teeth decaying, or developing some kind of problem, is raised significantly. The best choice will always be homemade juices and smoothies, but having one ever-so-often is ok.
Just remember to keep up a healthy oral hygiene regime, and if you have any questions, or concerns, always contact your dentist and book an appointment for a check-up.
Somerset Dental Care is open Monday to Saturday, 9:00am – 5:30pm on weekdays, and 9:00am – 1:00pm on Saturday. We can be reached on 1300 707 046, or you can request an appointment using our online form.