'Tis the season to be jolly, but I want to take a brief interlude in all the jolliness to share a quick reminder of HOW. MUCH. SUGAR your favourite festive hot drinks actually contain. Sorry, I know it's a bit scroogey. And sure, nobody really cares what they eat or drink in December (you can get back on it in January), but in the interests of... well, just useful information for your health and wellbeing... the special Christmas offerings from high street coffee-shop chains contain a hell of a lot of sugar.
Dietitians at The Hospital Group analysed the seasonal drinks menus at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Pret a Manger, McDonalds and Greggs. Specifically looking at the nutritional value of a regular-sized serving, using semi-skimmed milk at each coffee shop, the experts compiled a list of the 10 *sweetest* offerings. And, alarmingly, eight out of the top 10 most sugary drinks contain more sugar than a 330ml can of coke. Ouch.
Without further ado, here are the drinks that will send your blood sugar sky rocketing this Christmas...
The most sugary festive hot drinks at high street chains:
- Mint Hot Chocolate from Pret a Manger – 47.9g sugar
- Hazelnut Hot Chocolate from Pret a Manger – 47.9 sugar
- Mint Mocha from Greggs – 46g sugar
- Mint Hot Chocolate from Greggs – 46g sugar
- Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Caffé Nero – 38.8g sugar
- Hazelnut Hot Chocolate from Caffé Nero – 38.2g sugar
- Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate from Starbucks - 36.7g sugar
- Ginger Hot Chocolate from Caffé Nero – 35.8g sugar
- Egg Nog Latte from Starbucks – 33.8g sugar
- Hazelnut Praline & Cream Frostino from Costa Coffee – 33.2g sugar
The recommended daily sugar intake for an adult is 30g, which roughly equates to seven whole sugar cubes. Considering the sugar content in the list above, it makes you feel a bit sick to basically imagine you're consuming this (well, most of it) in one sitting:
Commenting on the findings, George Hamlyn-Williams, Principal Dietitian at The Hospital Group describes high-sugar or high-calorie drinks as "a 'blind spot that many of us are naïve to, or ignore."
Christmassy drinks from our favourite high street coffee shops can (literally) make you feel warm inside, and this isn't to say you should ban them forever more. But for the sake of your waistline, your teeth, and your overall health, it's wise to avoid drinking them regularly.
And anyway, with the huge array of Christmas cups on offer this year, what's to say a bog-standard Americano in one of those won't make you feel almost as festive?
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