Diet Nutrition

You'll be surprised just how much sugar is in your slushie

Your summer pick-me-up is even worse for your health than once thought.

Fancy a refreshing (and cheap) slushie to cool you down during the hot summer? You won't after reading this.

Last week two Australian health agencies - Rethink Sugary Drink and LiveLighter - came together to promote their #Don'tBeSuckedIn campaign.

The health campaign aims to inform the public of the dangers of sugary beverages - particularly slushies, which are said to have half a week's worth of sugar in just one drink. In fact, LiveLighter suggests that frozen sugary drinks can contain up to 30 teaspoons of sugar in one supersized drink, and 18 in a standard size drink.

The World Heath Organisation (WHO) recommends consuming a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar per day, including the sugar found naturally in fruits, honey and syrups.

WHO also suggests that your total intake of sugar is less than ten per cent of your total energy intake (the sum of your daily calories from food or drink you've eaten).

In the warm Kiwi summer you may be tempted to reach for a slushie anyway, after all, they are delicious, cheap and refreshing. So is it really that bad to have a bit of extra sugar?

Consuming an excessive amount of sugar can cause fat to grow around your vital organs and can also result in the development of non-communicable diseases (non-infectious diseases) such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

So you may want to rethink purchasing that frozen treat next time you're at the gas station.

LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink's #Don'tBeSuckedIn campaign
LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink's #Don'tBeSuckedIn campaign

The lowdown on sugar

According to LiveLighter:

  • A regular bottle of soft drink contains 16 teaspoons of sugar
  • There are nine teaspoons of sugar in a sports drink
  • A daily habit of drinking a 600ml bottle of orange fruit drink will result in the consumption of 23kgs of sugar per year
  • There are seven teaspoons of sugar in a 250ml energy drink
  • You can reportedly gain 6.5kgs in one year if you drink one can of soft drink per day
  • Sugar sachets from cafes are roughly four grams of sugar

Remember:

  • It's recommended we have a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar per day, including the sugar naturally found in foods such as honey or fruits
  • One teaspoon is four grams of sugar, be mindful of this when reading nutrition labels
  • Plain water is the healthiest drink choice