The Healing Plate

Sip Smart This Summer

how much sugar is in my drinks

Do You Know How Much Sugar Is In Your Drinks?

The Sugar Content In Drinks Could Jeopardise Your Health And Weight-Loss Efforts.

If you are living in the southern hemisphere, summer has finally landed. After a year of lockdown, we are more eager to welcome backyard BBQs, office parties and other food-related social gatherings. The summer heat will make you crave soft drinks, beer, sports drinks or juice. The hotter it gets, the more you will probably want to drink. You can have all the best intentions to limit unhealthy and high-energy food. Still, if you are not careful, you could easily jeopardise your health and weight-loss goals by aimlessly drinking without thinking. Do you know how much sugar is in your drinks?

The sugar content of most cool drinks, even so-called ‘healthy’ drinks like fruit juice and sports drinks, is shocking. Do you know that, on average, people in New Zealand potentially consume about 37 teaspoons of sugar in their food and drinks?

Alcoholic drinks, in particular, can add a lot more kilojoules to our diet than we realise. The higher the alcohol percentage of a drink, the higher its energy value or kilojoule content. Alcohol is also an appetite stimulant, making us want to eat more. Keeping alcohol intake low or avoiding alcohol can help prevent or reduce unwanted weight gain. High alcohol intake is associated with liver damage and some cancers, so it is smart to limit alcohol intake to special occasions and limit serving sizes.  

Have a look at this wonderful resource from Te Hiringa Hauora below. It lists drinks’ energy or kilojoule content and the snacks we usually have with drinks, like crisps and peanuts

The average energy intake for adult men and women is around 8700kJ, depending on gender, age, physical activity level and body size. Nobody wants to count kilojoules all the time, but it is good to be informed to make better choices.

Recommendations by the Ministry of Health. 

One standard drink in New Zealand contains 10g of alcohol.

The recommended alcohol servings for

Adult men and women to reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

• 2 standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week

• 3 standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week

and at least 2 alcohol-free days every week.

Reduce your risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking by drinking no more than:

• 4 standard drinks for women on any single occasion

• 5 standard drinks for men on any single occasion.

Pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant

• No alcohol

For more information, have a look at: