How many spoonfuls of sugar are in your drink?

TORONTO – If you’re sipping on a can of orange pop or a glass of cranberry juice, you may want to stop reading this.

While a plethora of studies have already warned consumers about the empty calories sitting in soft drinks and juice, researchers at Harvard Public Health are laying out the facts in a sugarcoated chart.

In a simple graphic and complementary chart, the researchers show how many calories, grams of sugar and teaspoons of sugar are lurking in 12 ounces of popular beverages found in restaurants, grocery stores and most families’ fridges. Red indicates drinks that, in some cases, have more than 10 spoonfuls of sugar and green includes drinks that are the best choice.

Take a look at the graphic and chart here.

Story continues below advertisement

Among the worst offenders:

1. Cranberry Juice Cocktail – it contains 200 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar
2. Orange soda – it contains 170 calories and 11 teaspoons of sugar
3. Orange juice – pulp or no pulp, it has 10 teaspoons of sugar and also clocks in at 170 calories
4. Cola – its variations contain 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories
5. A&W Root Beer – it contains 180 calories and 11 teaspoons of sugar

Juice may seem like a healthy alternative, but the Harvard researchers’ chart suggests otherwise.

Here’s a list of juice options with the highest levels of sugar and calories:

1. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice – 240 calories, 60 grams of sugar, 14 teaspoons
2. Welch’s Grape Juice – 255 calories, 63 grams of sugar and 15 teaspoons
3. Jamba Juice Mango Peach – 375 calories, 63 grams of sugar and 15 teaspoons

No more than 25 per cent of total calories should come from added sugars, the Institute of Medicine recommends. The World Health Organization says only 10 per cent of calories should come from free sugars.

The researchers at the school’s public health department have been studying pop, juice and water closely, releasing reports on how what consumers drink affects their health.

Story continues below advertisement

The latest study, published last week, suggested that women who drink plain water over sweet fizzy drinks or fruit juice decrease their risk of developing diabetes.

In this report, the scientists even say that watering down sugary beverages won’t make a difference.

The study spanned 12 years and followed 82,902 women. By the end of the study, 2,700 subjects developed diabetes.

What they noted is that the amount of water women drank was irrelevant to diabetes risk, but the amount sugary beverages did.

For every cup of juice or pop the women consumed each day, their risk of diabetes increased by 10 per cent, the researchers reported.

Sponsored content