Smoothies are BAD for you: Fruit juices are packed with sugar and we would be better off having vegetable drinks, say scientists

  • Smoothies contain 'same amount of sugar as a large coke,' says duo
  • So called healthy drinks are continuing to fuel the obesity crisis
  • Coca Cola and Pepsi have been buying up juice and smoothie firms
  • People urged to drink vegetable juice instead to cut down sugar intake

GIVEN the barrage of health warnings about salty, fatty and sugary food, you might think having an all-natural, unadulterated fruit smoothie would earn you some credit with the diet police.

But no – now it seems that even pulped fruit is bad for us.

Despite being seen as healthy alternatives to fizzy drinks and counting towards your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, smoothies and fruit juice are actually the ‘new danger’ in the fight against obesity, according to nutritionists.

Defence: Innocent, owned by Coca Cola, claims smoothies contain the same amount of sugar as whole fruit

They said smoothies can contain as much sugar as a large Coke.

Juicing removes fibre and some of the nutrients that would be found in a fruit or vegetable. The natural fruit sugars in smoothies can also add hundreds of extra calories to your daily intake.

Professor Barry Popkin said alerting people to the potential risks of smoothies and fruit juices was the ‘next step in the battle’ against obesity. He added: ‘In every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage.’

Danger: Smoothies and juices contain deceptively high amounts of sugar

He said it was far healthier to eat fruit or drink vegetable juice.

Most people feel full after eating two oranges. However, smoothies contain the sugar of up to six oranges but are less filling than eating the fruit, making you more likely to want to eat afterwards.

This undermines the perceived benefits of having a smoothie, said Professor Popkin, of the University of North Carolina. He added: ‘Pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us, but give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large Coke. It is deceiving.’

Firms such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been buying juice and smoothie rivals to cash in on their healthy reputation. Coca-Cola owns Innocent, which claims to be Europe’s top smoothie brand.

A recent study found that people who ate whole fruit were less likely to get obesity-related type 2 diabetes, while those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk.

Swapping fruit juice for fruit three times a week cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7 per cent.

Britons consume 3,144 calories a week from non-alcoholic drinks, a study by the University of Glasgow found last year. This adds 450 calories a day to our diets.

Innocent said people who drank juice drinks were less likely to  be obese.

It added: ‘Smoothies are made entirely from fruit and therefore contain the same amount of sugars that you would find in an equivalent amount of fruit.’

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