Smoothies and fruit juices – as bad as fizzy drinks?

There’s more bad news for Coca Cola who own Innocent Smoothies, and Pepsi Co, who own Tropicana…


It was only a decade ago that the finger was pointed at fizzy drinks for causing health problems due to the high sugar content. It’s long been known that smoothies and fruit juices also have a high sugar content but people are still replacing their fizzy drinks with a product that can cause just as many health problems. ALL sugars are equal in their bad effects. Even those described as “natural” or “healthy”.

Child drinks milk shake

If you drink a fruit juice that contains 6 oranges you’re not going to feel full a couple of hours later, imagine if you ate all 6 of those oranges! Drinking these drinks is not positively affecting our dietary intake, all you’re achieving is consuming the same amount of sugar in those 4-6 oranges which can be equivalent to a glass of coca cola.

The key issue is the lack of fibre. When you eat fruit, fibre forms a protective layer that acts as a barrier in the intestine, which slows the absorption of sugar, so the liver has a chance to catch up. But in fruit juice and smoothies, this barrier isn’t there.


Researchers from the UK, USA and Singapore found that, in large-scale studies involving nurses, people who ate whole fruit, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is obesity-related, but those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk. People who swapped their fruit juice for whole fruits three times a week cut their risk by 7%.

Innocent Smoothies claims that people who drink juice have better diets and lower rates of obesity than others, although the studies it cited had funding from the juice industry. Reliable, unbiased research? Maybe not…

Research has found:

– a single 250ml serving of white grape juice contains the same amount of sugar as 4 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts

– 500ml of freshly squeezed orange juice has a sugar equivalent of 13 McVities HobNob biscuits

– 500ml blackcurrant Ribena has a sugar equivalent of 13 Oreo chocolate biscuits

– 250ml Innocent Smoothie (pomegranates, blueberries and acai superfood) has a sugar equivalent of 3 and a half Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts

– Burger KIng super size coke has a sugar equivalent of 9 penguin chocolate bars

– Burger King large chocolate milkshake has a sugar equivalent of a Tesco finest strawberry and cream tart (that serves 4 people!!)

– 500ml Rockstar punched energy and guava drink has a sugar equivalent of 20 Maryland Chocolate Chip Cookies

– 500ml Lucozade Sport Elite Orange has a sugar equivalent of 2 Walls Magnum Ice creams

And as the number of obese children is on the rise it’s not a surprise to see the amount of sugar in children’s “healthy” drinks.

– a 250ml serving of McDonalds Fruitizz contains 6 teaspoons of sugar

– a 200ml bottle of Robinsons Fruit Shoot contains 5 teaspoons of sugar

Food for thought for the next time you go to pick up a “healthy” drink…

5 responses to “Smoothies and fruit juices – as bad as fizzy drinks?

  1. wow! thought i was doing good for my daughter when i filled her beaker with apple juice this morning!
    Thankyou for the truth.

    • You can’t beat water unfortunately! If you need a bit of flavour then no added sugar squash is better than juice, some can have less than 1 gram of sugar when diluted 🙂 but even ribena can have up to 10 grams in a glass!

  2. Pingback: Rethink your Drink | Start to be Healthy Now·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s