We’re told, almost daily, that Sugary beverages, like Soda, flavoured Milk and sweetened Tea and Coffee are bad for us. Excess Calories and the tendency – we’re recently advised – that eating sweets makes us want more sweets and savouries! There’s one kind of sweet beverage that we’re missing…
Fruit Juices are being named as contributors to the childhood obesity epidemic, the days, by a wide range of dietary and health professionals. In fact, pure Fruit (‘unsweetened’) Juices have just as much or more sugar in them than some sugary sodas. 100 % Grape Juice has up to 4 teaspoons / 40 g of sugars per 4 ounces / 120 ml. Apple juice isn’t much better, at 3 teaspoons / 12 g of sugar per 4 ounces. Orange Juice has lots of good stuff in it, but it also has 2.5 teaspoons / 10 g of sugar in 4 ounces.
In North America, healthy and diet authorities recommend men consume no more than 9 teaspoons / 37.5 g of sugar a day. Woman are rates a little lower at 6 teaspoons / 25 g per day. Preschoolers are allowed up to 4 teaspoons / 16 g a day. Active, growing children aged 4 to 8 are allowed up to 3 teaspoons / 12 g a day. Teenagers are allowed 5 to 8 teaspoons / 20 to 32 g of sugar a day.
So where does that leave Fruit Juices?
Every 4 ounce glass of 100 % Grape Juice contains as much as 4 teaspoons of sugars. That counts as half of your teenager’s daily recommended intake. That’s a full day‘s allotment for preschooler’s and more than a day’s recommended intake for kids 4 to 8. And it’s three-quarters of a woman’s or half of a man’s daily allotment.
That’s all extra sugar that could be avoided if you gave your kids and youself water instead.
So what can you do about it, in the real world?
I know… It’s impossible to keep your kids from drinking flavoured Milk and Sodas at school. (Unless your school board has instituted bans.)
But one thing I’ve been doing in the past year or so at my house is watering down Juices. It cuts the sweetness, increases the thirst-quenching power of the beverage and fills you up quicker so you don’t want to eat or drink more right away.
I usually mix two parts water with one part citrus juice, or one to two parts with each part of other sweet beverages. You still get the great flavour and the sensation of sweetness, but Citrus doesn’t bite anymore and you feel hydrated immediately!
Try it. You’ll be glad you did!
~ Maggie J.