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Supermarket JuiceIt might sound like a ridiculous question, but not if you read the way the media are reporting on new research from consumer group Which?

The Telegraph, Mail and Mirror are all reporting about how ‘healthy’ smoothies have more sugar and calories than a can of Coke. The reports focus on how fruit drinks are seen as a healthy alternative to fizzy pop but eight out of 10 are sweeter than the same amount of Coca-Cola and also contain more calories than fizzy drinks.

Consumer group Which? examined 52 smoothies from leading brands and major supermarkets and found that all of them contain more calories per 100ml than a bottle of Coca-Cola. Nearly half the smoothies contained 30g or more of sugar per 250ml, the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar.

Consumers spend around £109 million a year on smoothies, however many are unaware that they contain high sugar levels. Which? also found that nearly a third of consumers wrongly believe that the drinks contain two of the recommended ‘five a day’ portions of fruit and vegetables, something the reports say they do not.

Not All Sugar Is The Same!

Despite what you may read in the papers, not all sugar is bad for you and in fact, your body needs sugar to survive. Naturally occurring sugars in vegetables are fruits are NOT the same as white refined sugar or other processed sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup (known as glucose-fructose syrup here in the UK).

These refined sugars have been labeled the sweetest poison, toxic, and harmful and recently in ‘Hungry For Change’… a drug. Unfortunately it does seem a little extreme to label a food as a drug but when you look at how sugar (especially the highly refined and processed kinds) are metabolized by your body then you can begin to understand why.

Sugar when taken in excessive amounts can lead to cravings and addictions, quite similar to those with alcohol and tobacco, yet we have no problem labeling them as drugs. As Jason Vale says from the ‘Hungry For Change’ film, “it’s illegal to give a child cigarettes and alcohol, and so it should be, but it’s not illegal to give them white refined sugar or refined fats.”

As for glucose-fructose syrup / high fructose corn syrup, Mike Adams describes it as follows in ‘Hungry for Change’:
“In terms of Glycemic Index, high fructose corn syrup is like jet fuel for your body. If you put jet fuel into your car you’re going to ruin your engine and burn it out. Much of the same thing will happen in the human body!”
It is worth noting that glucose-fructose syrup / high fructose corn syrup is starting to become increasingly prevalent in processed foods in the UK, including things as diverse and apple sauce and some Cadbury’s chocolate.

Fizzy Drinks Change Your Body So It’s Harder to Lose Weight

recent study shows that drinking fizzy and sugary drinks for just a month alters body chemistry, making it more difficult to lose weight. Drinking sugared fizzy drinks for just a month changes the body permanently so it’s more difficult to lose weight. The soft drinks don’t just pile on the pounds because of the calories in them – they alter the way your body burns fuel.

Your muscles grow to ‘prefer’ sugar to fat as a fuel, and thus losing weight becomes harder.

Not All Juices Are The Same

An Innocent spokesman said about the Which? report that “All the sugars in our smoothie come from the fruit.” Essentially make the same point as I have above that not all sugars are the same. That said I would also like to stress that not all juices and smoothies are the same.
Bottled juices you buy from a shop are pasteurised, a process that typically involves cooking the juice at incredibly high temperatures to kill bacteria and extend the shelf life of the products.

“I believe that fruit juice and pasteurized milk are two of the most misunderstood foods in our culture. Most people believe they are health foods, while the polar opposite is true. They tend to be pernicious fluids that worsen most people’s health.”

Bottled juice versus fresh juice

They may be derived from the same original source, but a lot happens to bottled juice after it is squeezed out of it’s fruit or vegetable and before it is poured out of the bottle and into your glass. Most bottled juice has been heated and pasteurised, so pretty much all of its natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals are completely depleted. It has also had preservatives, colours and artificial and refined sugars added to it – rendering it even worse for your health.

“Nearly every canned or bottled commercial juice, on the other hand, are actually worse than soda, because a glass of juice is loaded with fructose, and a lot of the antioxidants are lost,” writes Dr Mercola.

On the other hand, juice that comes straight out of your juicer is packed with live enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Carrot juices are full of the nutrient – betacarotene (which converts into vitamin A in the body), and green juices give us amazing doses of chlorophyll. Freshly made juices are alkalising and they provide our bodies with intense hydration and oxygenated cells and bloodstream. To get the most benefits out of drinking fresh juice, it’s best to drink them straight from the juicer. If this isn’t possible, store them in a dark, airtight bottle or container (we use flasks or Mason jars) and open when you’re ready to drink. Remember that over time, light, air and heat destroy most, if not all, of the available nutrients.

Want to try making your own fresh juices and smoothies butneed a juicer? Click here to get a 5% discount at Juice Master! – Note: discount is applied at check out.

Year Without Beer

Firstly, I would like to say a BIG thank you to all who have supported me on my year without beer.

The Olympics may be over, but my Year Without Beer isn’t! I am spending all 366 days of this leap year alcohol free in an attempt to raise money for 2 charities that are both very close to my heart.

If giving up all alcohol for a year isn’t enough of a challenge to make you dig deep and show your support, I’ve also completed a challenge to run 500 miles! As part of my running challenge I have completed a quarter marathon, a 10 mile road race (Great South Run) and an 8 mile off road challenge (The Grim Original).

If you want to show some love them please donate to my year without beer and give your support to one of these fantastic causes:

  • To donate to Cancer Research UK please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB66 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB66 £5″ will donate £5.
  • To donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust please click here to visit my just giving page or donate by text – send AYWB55 and the amount to 70070. For example, texting “AYWB55 £5″ will donate £5.