An analysis of 131 hot drinks shows that 98% of the drinks tested would receive a red nutritional value label for high sugar content. The analysis by Action on Sugar found a third contained at least as much sugar as a can of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, which contains nine teaspoons.
Some of the worst cases found by the charity contained over 20 teaspoons of sugar – roughly 3 times the NHS recommended MAXIMUM intake of added sugar per day.
Action on Sugar chairman, Professor Graham MacGregor, said the group’s report highlighted “yet again another example of scandalous amounts of sugar added to our food and drink”.
Sadly, none of this surprises me.
Added sugar is EVERYWHERE and the amounts being used are both excessive and unnecessary.
Your body has zero need for added sugar, but processed food companies know that it makes their products addictive (especially when combined with fat and salt).
These companies do in-depth research to find the ‘bliss point’ of their products – the combination of sugar, salt and fast that creates the highest level of ‘craving’.
Each of your 10,000 odd taste buds has receptors triggered by sugar, salt and fat that link to your brain’s pleasure zone. Processed foods with a ‘bliss point’ tell your brain how good you feel consuming them and trigger a desire for MORE.
This has been compared with drug addiction and alcoholism, in the way that many people find it so hard to quit these foods.
When asked about the sugar in their drinks, a Starbucks spokeswoman said the chain had “committed to reduce added sugar” by 25% by the end of 2020 in its “indulgent drinks”.
Costa said they had already taken “significant steps” to reduce the sugar content of their drinks and that the company would be setting salt and sugar reduction targets for 2020.
Why 2020? Why does it take 4 years to reduce the obscene levels of sugar in their drinks?
I suspect it is because they need to reformulate to find a new ‘bliss point’. I mean, they can’t just cut the sugar can they… what would happen if people no longer crave their products? That would be bad for shareholders.
It is also important to note that Starbucks mention a 25% reduction. Top of the offenders table in the Action of Sugar study was Starbucks Venti Hot mulled fruit which has 99 grams, or 25 teaspoons of sugar. This is almost 4 days of the NHS maximum recommendation for added sugar. Cutting it by 25% will still mean that there is 3 days of added sugar in a single drink.
I think it is time that the number of added sugars (in teaspoons) be shown on the menus in coffee shops.
My advice… If you are going to drink coffee a simple black Americano is your best option. Alternatively try some fresh herbal tea, such as peppermint or ginger.
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