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Apple juice as sugary as Coca-Cola, experts warn

Date

Sarah Whyte

Nutritional value in juice and Coca-Cola.

Nutritional value in juice and Coca-Cola.

Apple juice has as much sugar as soft drinks, and health experts are warning consumers to limit consumption or risk gaining weight.

Often selected as the healthier option over soft drinks or energy drinks, apple juice is no more than a ''sugar syrup'', nutritionists say.

''It's just like drinking Cola-Cola, it's no different,'' Dietitians Association of Australia spokeswoman Kellie Bilinski said.

''That's the misconception that people think, 'oh it's good for me'. I would much prefer people drank water and ate the fruit.''

Fairfax Media found a bottle of Coles' Finest Australian cloudy apple juice contains more kilojoules and carbohydrates than a bottle of Coca-Cola, based on an average of 100ml. The Daily Juice Company apple juice contained more kilojoules than a soft drink, but slightly less carbohydrates and sugar.

The Goulburn Valley lemon fruit juice contained the least amount of sugar and carbohydrates, compared with Daily Juice five fruits and apple juice and the Coca-Cola bottle.

Apple juice is thought to be one of the sweetest juices, and because it is comparatively cheap, it is used as a base by juice bars.

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said when you removed the fibre from the apple juice, it became little more than sugar syrup.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recognise fruit juice as a serve of fruit, but limit it to 125ml, when the average bottle is 400ml.

Dr Stanton said consumers were eating up to five large apples within one bottle of juice, which exposed them to far too much sugar.

''You could never take in that much sugar naturally,'' she said. ''You need to look for juices that are made from squashed fruit, and they have a high fibre content.

''It's better than Coke, but not much.''

National director of cardiovascular health at the Heart Foundation, Dr Rob Grenfell, agreed that fruit juices should be considered as ''special treats'' rather than daily routines.

''We tend to look at sweetened drinks as energy, that in the sense of soft drink and fruit drinks, are largely unnecessary and you need to burn them off.''

In a report by Choice, it found fruit frappes and smoothies, such as the ones sold at Boost Juice and Donut King, also contained high levels of sugar. ''Consumers should remember that fruit juice contains sugar, so the bigger the bottle, the bigger the sugary punch,'' Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

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115 comments

  • This report must be mistaken. The University of Sydney's highest-profile nutrition scientists have documented as fact that there is "an inverse relationship" between sugar consumption and obesity - The Australian Paradox (look it up). They also insist that "There is absolute consensus that sugar in food does not cause (type 2) diabetes". So sugar and sugary drinks are innocent.

    Commenter
    rory robertson former fattie
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    August 25, 2013, 3:20PM
    • "So sugar and sugary drinks are innocent."

      This is not correct.

      There is very good evidence that excess consumption of sugar is a risk factor for T2D.

      For two (of many) reviews of this see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693348 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20308626

      Commenter
      Dr Kiwi
      Date and time
      August 25, 2013, 4:07PM
    • Back it up with reputable scientific links, not just your say so.

      Commenter
      link it
      Location
      Qld
      Date and time
      August 25, 2013, 9:54PM
    • The problem with juices is the ease that you can load up on carbs (sugar) It is almost like injecting glucose Fruit has to be broken down and the sugars is released slowly
      the University dietitians simply cherry pick the data to give the result they want

      Commenter
      Peterwalker58
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 11:18AM
    • Just drink water - save millions of empty sugar kilojoules!

      Commenter
      marcus bondi
      Location
      beach
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 11:22AM
    • @rory robertson former fattie....wow, your single, unproven, un-backed statement has turned years of medical research on its head....

      Commenter
      shemp
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 11:24AM
    • This article is incorrect. Coca Cola is actually healthier that apple juice, thanks largely to the amount of caffeine added. Add the same amount of caffeine per litre to apple juice, and you'll be receiving the same healthful benefits of the cocoa bean, its health enhancing properties known to ancient Peruvian tribes for centuries.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 11:25AM
    • Ha! You got 'em, Rory.

      Commenter
      BC
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 12:17PM
    • Absolutely correct. It is being overweight/obese that causes diabetes, not sugar consumption.

      Commenter
      Stephanie
      Location
      Nowra
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 12:19PM
    • Just drink water

      Commenter
      Meh1
      Date and time
      August 26, 2013, 12:28PM

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