The amount of ‘hidden’ sugar in some of our favourite foods has been hitting the headlines recently – especially as plans for the proposed ‘sugar tax’ have fallen through.
Everyone knows that fizzy drinks contain an insane amount of sugar (a can of Coca-Cola contains around nine teaspoons) but how much of the sweet stuff we are consuming via some of other favourites makes for alarming reading.
According to a new report some flavoured beverages from high street coffee shops contain up to a staggering 20 teaspoons of sugar – nearly three times the recommended daily intake, reports IFL Science.
The campaign group Action on Sugar looked at over 130 hot drinks sold from major coffee shops and fast food outlets and discovered that an incredible 98 per cent of the drinks would be given a ‘red’ warning for high levels of sugar if they had to be labelled.
The drink that contained the most sugar was a ‘Venti grape with chai, orange and cinnamon’ from Starbucks – containing an astonishing 99 grams of sugar (25 teaspoons).
To highlight how much that actually is, according to the American Heart Association, you shouldn’t consume more than 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar a day if you’re a man, or 25 grams (6 teaspoons) if you’re a woman.
Next on the list was a chai latte from Costa Coffee, which had almost 80 grams of sugar, followed by a white chocolate mocha with whipped cream containing 74 grams.
The offending drinks are mostly the ones that offer sugar syrups to add extra flavour (sweetness) in a bid to attract customers who wouldn’t normally drink coffee.
Given these findings – and with 20 per cent of people regular visitors to coffee shops – it seems likely they could well be a significant factor in both the obesity and diabetes epidemics seen in richer countries.
Action on Sugar say that many consumers are unaware of how much hidden sugar, and as a result calories, are present in the flavoured drinks and that they intentionally singled out Starbucks due to its serving sizes being larger than in other coffee shops.