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London - Here’s something to make you pause over your pint of real ale or gin and tonic.
The amount of sugar hidden in alcoholic drinks has been revealed by nutritionists, and it’s probably more than you think.
Just one pint of real ale has up to nine teaspoons of sugar, far more than the recommended daily amounts for an adult.
World Health Organisation advice is that men should not consume more than eight teaspoons (32g) of sugar a day or women six teaspoons (24g) a day.
Strong real ales were found to have high levels of sugar because sugar or honey is often added to help the brewer get the desired flavour and feel.
A gin and tonic has five-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar in it and a pint of premium lager has three-and-a-half.
In comparison, a flute of champagne or a large red wine has only a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar. The newspaper study also found a bottle of Magners pear cider has eight-and-a-half teaspoons while a pint of Strongbow dry cider has three-and-a-half.
Vodka, gin and whisky have minimal traces of sugar – unless you top the drink up with coke or lemonade.
A 50ml glass of dry sherry had only a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar in it, compared with a sweet sherry which had around two teaspoons.
Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “The levels of sugar in some of these drinks is quite staggering.
“There’s nothing wrong with the occasional drink but unfortunately we are consuming much more than is good for us.”
Dr Malhotra said alcohol-related ill health is costing the NHS £3.3-billion a year.
He said chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, respiratory disease, cancer and heart disease contribute to around 36 million deaths worldwide each year.
He continued: “Recent scientific evidence is revealing that the most significant dietary villain which is contributing to many of these is sugar.
“But it’s not just hidden sugar that the food industry has profited from by adding to foods we don’t even associate with being junk foods but also the amount that we can be unwittingly consuming in the form of alcohol.
“Although moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, there is no safe level for increasing the risk of cancer according to the World Cancer Research fund.” - Daily Mail
HOW MUCH IS IN YOUR DRINK?
Pint of real ale: 9
Pint of Guinness or stout: 5
Pint of premium lager 3.5
568ml bottle of Magners pear cider 8.5
Pint of Strongbow dry cider 3.5
175ml glass of mulled wine 11
175ml glass of medium sweet wine 2.5
Vodka and Red Bull 7
Gin and tonic 5.5
Vodka and Coca Cola 6.5
Sambuca shot 4
Amaretto shot 4
50ml glass of Baileys 2.5
50ml glass of Port 3
50ml glass of sweet sherry 2
Smirnoff Ice 7.5
Barcardi Breezer 5.25