Tag Archives: sugar

Innocent smoothie sugar content – not so innocent?

Innocent Smoothie!!Damian was round the other day, and with his tired hat on (as much as his business journalist hat) he was commenting on the sugar content of an Innocent smoothie. He referred to it as a great ‘sugar hit’ — which didn’t feel right to me, not when compared with the sugary soft drinks I’ve made a cursory study of. After all, there’s a heckuva lot of sugar in a can of coke.

So I looked into it.

By my estimations – natural sugars or otherwise – there is the equivalent of a can of coke’s sugar in the same volume of strawberry and banana smoothie – around 8 teaspoons. Of course the smoothie bottle is marginally smaller than a coke can – but it’s still pretty high! Innocent describes this as:

The amount of sugars in a 250ml serving of our smoothies averages at 29g or a third of your daily requirement. Or, put more simply, the same amount of sugars that you’d find in a banana and another portion of fruit (which makes sense, as smoothies are two of your 5-a-day portions).

Which makes it sound much better, but this is one of those things we in the trade call ‘positioning’. Not sure it helps that much here, or if there’s anything they can do about it given that they pulp fruit straight into the bottle (apparently).

So chalk this one up to one of those occasions when Damo is bang on about something, and take a care when next you hit up Innocent for a smoothie. Those things are sugar-tastic, and probably not great for diabetics.

Soft drinks–sugar levels / calorie counts compared

In my calorie obsession I’ve checked the sides of cans of drinks with a view of getting a perspective of what the healthiest of the bunch is. Of course, they’re all pretty bad for you but I put together a little spreadsheet (obsessed, much?) of some of the top brands in the UK and compared the data – all off their own websites. A few interesting insights for you.

chart_1 (1)

The top 5 lowest sugar soft drinks produced by Britvic and Coke* in the UK, for a 330ml serving:

  1. Tango Apple (approx 1.65 teaspoons of sugar**)
  2. Tango Cherry (approx 1.81 teaspoons of sugar)
  3. Schweppes Lemonade (approx 3.31 teaspoons of sugar)
  4. Tango Orange – 3.30 teaspoons of sugar
  5. Lilt – 3.64 teaspoons of sugar

The result of the Coke vs: Pepsi shootout:

Coke – 139 calories to Pepsi’s 138.6. Coke has slightly less sugar at 35g (8.33 teaspoons) to Pepsi’s 8.64. Draw?

Sprite vs 7UP – 144 calories to Sprite, 135.3 to 7UP, with comparable amounts of sugar (around 35g). 7UP is the marginal winner.

Does anyone have 8 sugars in their cup of tea or coffee? Slightly terrifying.

Note: anyone who wants to can edit and add to the spreadsheet, just fill out all the fields you can. My method is not particularly scientific so any thoughts on the methodology, let me know in the comments field. I know this isn’t comprehensive, but hey – I’m not paid to do this. So feel free to help fill it out if you fancy it!

Also – if anyone else has done a better job of this than me, please let me know as I’m interested! I’d also be interested to know if recipes for major soft drinks vary across countries – people always say Coke is sweeter in the developing world, but obviously the Malaysian Coke website doesn’t have nutritional information on it, so my standard benchmark is not immediately useful as a test of the theory!

* Coke’s website was far more helpful, letting you work out caloric counts by serving side. Who needs to know how many calories are in 100ml of something?? Silly BritVic.

** teaspoon of sugar estimated at 4.2g per teaspoon