Currently, official advice is that a glass (150ml) of unsweetened fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five a day. Nevertheless, according to Action on Sugar, this advice is somewhat confusing as they have discovered that many fruit juices, specifically those designed for children, contain more sugar than a can of coke (over 6 teaspoons of sugar).
Even smoothies turn out to be deceiving. You need to do a little research into the quantity of fruit and vegetables which have actually been used, as well as how the smoothie has been made, before trusting it to count as a few of your five a day. When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugars are released which may lead to tooth decay as well as weight gain.
Until now the advice has been not to exceed 12 teaspoons of sugar per day, or in other words, sugar shouldn’t not amount to more than 10% of your daily calorific intake. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines recommending that we cut the limit by half, so that sugars make up no more than 5% of our daily calorie intake.
Nevertheless, the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) and Public Health England do not take such a strong stance against fruit juices. According to the BSDA, on average, fruit juice consumption only amounts to 1% of the daily energy intake in the average British diet. They believe that fruit juice has many benefits, such as being a good source of vitamin C. Moreover, Public Health England also stand by the idea that fruit juice contributes towards one of our five a day, helping reduce heart disease and some types of cancer.
Nevertheless, Public Health England does advise that you limit your fruit juice consumption to the recommended limit of 150ml a day. They also advise, to reduce any tooth decay, fruit juices should be consumed alongside meals. Rather than fruit juices being seen as a part of a child’s everyday diet, fruit juices should be seen as an occasional treat.
Make sure to look out for the amount of juice your child consumes, many cartons exceed the recommended daily allowance, coming in quantities of 200ml for example. Fruit juice shouldn’t be seen as a routine drink, for hydration purposes water is always the best option.
Let us know your stance on this subject. How do you make sure your children get their five a day?