Drinking calories – the road to ruin?
In your evolutionary past your ancestors ate their calories. They didn’t drink them.
Today, drinking calories is what we like to do. From sugar-laden carbonated sodas to fruit juices and smoothies, we can’t seem to get enough of them. So much so that 30% of the SUGAR we consume comes not from what we eat, but from what we drink.
Just one 12 oz (350 ml) can of Classic Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, that’s 10 teaspoons – which is more than your recommended daily allowance!
(A Diet Coke contains sweeteners that may reduce your sugar intake, but will have a negative impact on your ability to lose weight, and may even cause you to put on weight.)
The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of sugar is 25 grams. You may find it useful to remember that 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon.
But what about orange juice, surely that’s good for you? Any juice, whether it’s labelled as ‘not from concentrate’ or not, is not what it seems. The process of juicing removes all the fibre and what you are left with is a tasty liquid full of. SUGAR. A 17oz (500 ml) bottle of Pret orange juice contains 51 grams of sugar, over 12 teaspoons, more than a can of Coke!
Smoothies? Smoothies are just blitzed fruit, but the process of blitzing or juicing, tears the insoluble fibre in the fruit to shreds. The soluble fibre that’s left can’t do the job you need it to do of forming a barrier in your gut to slow down the process of absorption. So when you savour a smoothie your liver receives an avalanche of fructose, and your pancreas responds by producing lots of insulin to deal with the avalanche. The more insulin you produce, the more fat gets stored.
An 8.5 oz (250 ml) Innocent pomegranates, blueberry and acai smoothie contains 34 grams of sugar, 8.5 teaspoons. A 500ml cup of MacDonald’s mango and pineapple smoothie contains 52 grams of sugar, 13 teaspoons.
Don’t forget sugar or sucrose, is made up of half glucose and half fructose and nearly all fructose is metabolised by your liver – as fat.