More tips to reduce sugar intake from drinks

Fresh, unsweetened fruit juice can have almost as much sugar in them as carbonated drinks, the Health Promotion Board warned on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Fresh, unsweetened fruit juice can have almost as much sugar in them as carbonated drinks, the Health Promotion Board warned on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE – Worried after reading the latest report that fruit juice is laden with sugar?

In case you haven’t heard, fresh, unsweetened fruit juice can have almost as much sugar in them as carbonated drinks, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) warned on Wednesday.

[Click here to see interactive infographic on how much sugar there is in your drinks.]

Every 100ml of what you thought was a refreshing and healthy thirst quencher has about 80 per cent as much sugar as a soft drink, according to the HPB.

But, short of always drinking water, what alternatives are there?

Nutritionist Sheeba Majmudar, 40, says it’s better to eat fruit than to drink them, but you can add vegetables to a fruit juice for a healthier blend.

For example, a celery, carrot and apple juice is two-thirds vegetable, and will have less sugar than a pure fruit juice.

She also says one can drink fresh coconut water in place of isotonic drinks. But she adds that coconut water also contains sugar, and should be taken in moderation.

The HPB agrees that the key is moderation, and ways of reducing one’s sugar intake from drinks include:

  • Choosing packaged drinks with a “Healthier Choice” symbol;
  • Choosing packaged drinks with no added sugar;
  • Choosing siu dai (less sugar) or kosong (no sugar) when ordering coffee and tea;
  • Drinking sparkling, mineral or just plain water

chuimin@sph.com.sg