A survey by Action on Sugar revealed 98% of hot flavoured drinks have excessive sugar. 35% of these have more sugar than a can of coke. Top of the list is the Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit which contains 25 teaspoons of sugar. Remember the maximum ADULT daily intake of free sugars is 7 teaspoons. “Free” sugar is any sugar that is added to foods by the manufacturer, plus those naturally present in syrups and fruit juices. This does not include sugar naturally present in, or whole fruit and vegetables.
The Financial Times recently found one in five of the population visits a coffee shop daily. We are clearly on the brink of a sugar epidemic. Not surprising that the United Kingdom has the highest rate of obesity in Europe.
What can you do?
Have a cup of tea or coffee as it should be. No flavours/syrups or gels added. Black tea also has antibacterial properties
Choose green tea. Proven to have loads of health benefits one of which reduces the bacteria in your mouth, not only helping to prevent cavities, but also reduces inflammation and the chances of gum disease
Coconut Water when pure and unflavoured. Coconut water is naturally sweet, contains bioactive enzymes and is full of rehydrating electrolytes, which makes it a good replacement for sugary sports drinks
Choose a small (Tall) rather than a large (Venti) cup. This can help you wean yourself off and save money
How about water?
We should be lobbying our local coffee shop to reduce the sugar in their drinks. Public health England recently launched an App (App no longer available) which will tell you the amount of sugar in common foods and drinks, hopefully they will add these drinks from the coffee shops to help us make informed decisions.
Remember, use sugary drinks as a treat not a daily ritual. It would be a good idea to see a dentist to make sure your teeth are ready for this sugar epidemic and more tips to help reduce its effects.