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HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN MY HEALTHY DRINK?

September 26, 2018

By now I’m sure everyone knows that sugar isn’t really your best friend, right? Lollies, cake, soft drink and even savoury foods like muesli bars are no longer seen as a weekly grocery shop staple. In a world where we’re constantly being told what’s good and bad, one thing we can be assured of is that we’ll feel better if we wave goodbye to sugar.

Now, we all know fizzy drinks are a sugar bomb, along with lollies, chocolate, cakes and the like, but the sweet stuff is often hiding in things we perceive as healthy…

Cold pressed juices, even the fruit-free ones!
While a bottle of green juice might make you feel all sorts of healthy, there’s a darker side to these bottles of, ah, well essentially bottles of sugar. The process of juicing concentrates the sugar, so you end up consuming far more than if you were to just consume the whole fruit. Not only that, but you don’t get any of the fibre that naturally occurs in fruit and veggies, and instead you’re consuming pure carbohydrates and sugar, normally without any fat or protein, meaning it’s a sure way to spike your blood sugar and your insulin too.


 
But, what about all-veggie juices? Unfortunately most of the time it’s the same situation. On rare occasions where juices are made with just green veggies with a little added water, they may be low in sugar. But most of the time, juicing of veggies is still a surefire way to concentrate the natural sugars and take out all that fibre-goodness. Plus, you’d be surprised how much sugar is in veggies like carrot and beetroot.

And let’s be honest, veggie juices really don’t taste that good anyway… another great reason to give these a miss!

Kombucha
This little drink has swept the wellness world by storm. In case you haven’t heard, fermentation is back in fashion (quick, call your gran!) and since then, this fizzy fermented drink has become the perfect healthy alternative to soft drink. Kombucha is now seen in almost every supermarket, health food store and even service stations.

But not so fast! The process of making kombucha requires the addition of sugar. The good news is that the bacteria and the fermentation process ‘eats’ up this sugar, but there’s always some residual sugar left in the bottle. With good news comes bad news, and some brands will have far more residual sugar than others, sometimes up to 20 grams per serve! Worse still? Some companies even add in extra sugar after fermentation to ramp up the taste, so look for a brand that has less than 5g per serve.
 

“While a bottle of green juice might make you feel all sorts of healthy, there’s a darker side to these bottles of, ah, well essentially bottles of sugar.”

 
Flavoured coffee
You know those pre-packaged instant coffee sachets? Most of them scream health claims like ‘low-fat’ and ‘low-calorie’, yet the flavours sound more like something from Mr Whippy than a morning cuppa… White Chocolate Mocha, Creamy Caramel, Rocky Road… I’ve even seen donut flavoured coffee!

While these may seem like a great calorie controlled option, these little sachets are almost always packed with sugar, dehydrated milk and artificial flavourings. No, thanks! Instead, go for a normal coffee, a sachet of nuvia and a sprinkle of cinnamon – trust me, it’s delish. Plus, not only is your blood sugar going to remain stable since your adding sugar-free Nuvia, but cinnamon naturally controls your blood sugar too. Win, win.

Rainbow lattes
Rainbow lattes are a thing… golden lattes, blue algae lattes, even beetroot lattes to name a few. And, this wellness trend is popping up in many instagrammable cafes all over the place. They’ve been so popular that many brands have now created at-home versions of these colourful drinks.

But, you can probably guess what I’m going to say here. Yep, let’s talk about the sugar content. Most of the time in cafes these are sweetened with coconut sugar – still healthy, right? While coconut sugar is a more natural option compared to processed white sugar, it’s still sugar and will still send your blood glucose soaring. While rainbow lattes can be a bit of fun every now and then, don’t be fooled by the crazy wellness words they describe these things with, and if you do want one, ask for yours without sugar and sweeten it yourself with Nuvia!

As for the at-home mixes, give them a miss. Save your pennies and make your own 3 Ingredient Iced Matcha instead.

Author : Liv Kaplan

Liv Kaplan is a nutritionist and passionate foodie with a keen eye for all things health and wellness. Located on the shores of Bondi Beach, she knows where to find the best almond milk lattes and is a living example of how good nutrition is an integral part of our overall health. Her recipes focus on mood-boosting and blood sugar balancing goodness and she believes eating well should be easy and effortless, not stressful! If she’s not getting creative in the kitchen, you can find her getting salty in the ocean, getting zen on the yoga mat or picking up fresh produce from the local farmer’s market.

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