They’re enticing and hard to resist, but hidden within are extravagant quantities of sugar. Dietitian Brooke Longfield shares the sweet stats.
You may not realise that the ‘superfood’ smoothie or ‘fruity’ iced tea you’ve ordered is loaded with sugar. Many of these drinks are based on ingredients such as milk and fruit that contain natural sugars, but it’s the added variety that sends sweetness levels soaring. Fruit syrups, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, ice cream and sweetened yoghurt or sorbet are the culprits.
So when you order a large ‘healthy-looking’ berry smoothie with your ‘light’ brunch you could be consuming the equivalent of a substantial meal, thanks to the smoothie’s 2000kJ (478cal), most of which is hidden sugar.
Even the traditional milkshake has been revved-up with mix-ins such as Tim Tams, Oreos, peanut butter and other extras.
So how can you enjoy these treats and cut back on the added sugar? Opting for the smallest size or even a kid’s portion is one way. Say ‘no thanks’ to the extra whipped cream and sweet syrup, or ask for your drink over ice — it’s cool and refreshing, and because it leaves less room in the glass for the sweetened drink, you will also be cutting back on unwanted kilojoules.
If a particular drink on the menu has really caught your eye, consider making it part of your meal. For example, a simple banana smoothie made with low-fat milk and natural yoghurt is a healthy choice because it’s a source of hunger-busting protein and calcium for strong bones. Order a small version and then opt for a light meal, such as wholegrain toast with avocado and tomato.
We’ve got the scoop on how much sugar is in some popular cafe-style drinks. Surprised? We were, too!
This article was ammended on 12 February, 2016. The total sugars in the Boost Juice Original Blueberry Blast Smoothie have been corrected.
See how your favourite drink compares to a can of Coke, with 9 teaspoons of sugar.