Most people can clearly understand the concept that eating too many biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolates will lead to obesity in many cases which gives rise to a greater risk of developing various cancers. But many do not realise that consuming sugary drinks can be damaging their health just as badly, if not more.
Slim People Also At Risk Of Developing Cancers
Sugary drinks can come in the form of cans of coke, fruit juices, cordial drinks, milkshakes, hot chocolate as well as tea and coffee laced with teaspoons of sugar. A research team at the Universite Sorbonne Paris Site has undertaken a huge study involving over 100,000 participants across a 5 year period on this very issue. The research found that slim people, as well as obese people, were at risk of developing cancers due to a high consumption of sugary drinks. There appeared to be a particularly strong link between breast cancer and consuming a lot of sugary drinks.
Free Sugars Can Be Particularly Harmful
Maeve Hanan, dietitian at Orla Walsh Nutrition, is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph talking about this particular study, and she talks about free sugars (which are sugars not bound up with other nutrients):
“Examples of free sugars would be added sugars in foods and drinks, as well as things such as honey, chocolate, biscuits and fruit juices. We digest these free sugars quickly and they hit the bloodstream fast. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) we should limit free sugars to 10% of our daily energy or calorie intake, but really 5% is better.”
Energy Drinks High In Sugar
To put that in perspective, 10% would be the equivalent of 12 teaspoons of sugar, while 5% would be 6/7 teaspoons of sugar. A standard can of Coke contains the equivalent of almost nine teaspoons of sugar, while energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster can contain up to 14 teaspoons of sugar – so drinking just one of these will put you over the recommended WHO daily limit, while one standard fizzy drink would put you over the lower limit suggested by Hanan.
Many of us have grown up thinking of fruit juice as a healthy drink, and one that many parents offer to their children with a clear conscience. But the reality is that a glass of fruit juice can contain as much sugar as a can of a sugary, fizzy drink.
“With fruit juice it’s really about the dose,” says Hanan. “A 150ml glass of juice can be one of your five a day, you get the vitamin and mineral benefits, and it doesn’t count towards your allowance of added or free sugar, but any more than a glass does.”
Always, Always Check The Label
I think the moral of this piece is to always check the label when you are consuming anything, whether it be food or drinks, and if the label suggests there are high levels of sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients present, either stick to one as a treat or steer clear completely and find a healthier alternative which is just as tasty or refreshing, if not more.
As ever for the best quality food and drink ingredients come to Global Foods & Provisions Ltd, you can get in touch in the first instance by calling us on 0161 660 3380.