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New Study Examines the Sugar Content of Juice and Smoothies

Posted on 6/30/2016 by Dr. Thomas Young
A young girl drinking an orange juice full of sugar.Like most parents, you want the best for your child, and that includes eating nutritious foods. So when your child asks for juice or a smoothie instead of soda, you may be thinking that this is a great alternative.

Unfortunately, what most parents don't realize is that fruit juices can still be high in sugar and are often highly acidic, neither of which are good for your teeth.

Research about the Sugar Content of Smoothies and Fruit Juice

A new study has been published in BMJ Open, and it examines the sugar content of smoothies, natural juices, and fruit drinks, calling them all "unacceptably high."

According to the research, the average American will consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, and for teens, this number is more like 34 teaspoons. It is easy to see how that number can rise so quickly - a single can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar on its own.

In this study, researchers looked at the sugar content per 100 ml of fruit juices, smoothies, and 100% natural juices that were aimed for children. It was found that the average fruit juice sugar content was over 2 teaspoons, while the average smoothie had about 2.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving. About 40% of the products examined had around 4 teaspoons of sugar.

What These Figures Mean
According to the American Heart Association, children shouldn't be getting more than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar per day, and teens should stay under 5 teaspoons of sugar.

When you look at these findings, it is clear to see that these drinks will make it difficult to stay in that range - one serving of juice can almost reach that level on its own.

The major takeaway from this study is that parents need to be diligent in monitoring their child's sugar intake, remembering that even foods that seem to be "healthy" may contain hidden sugars. If you have additional questions, contact our office today.
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