In an age where health and fitness seems to be surrounded by more ‘buzz’ than ever, it’s hard to know who to listen to when it comes to your diet. We’re not nutritionists, however the recent hype around juice diets does make us worry. The sheer amount of vegetables and fruit is great for ensuring you get lots of vitamins, however the effects on your oral health are likely to be everything but positive.
The concerns are all linked to the amount of sugar a person would consume if following this diet. In fact, many nutritionists and health professionals believe that this diet could increase the chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Although the sugars that are found in fruit and vegetables are natural sugars, they can still have a detrimental effect on both your oral health and overall health if too much is consumed.
When these juices and smoothies are made, the sugar that is naturally contained within the cellular structure of the fruits and vegetables changes from intrinsic to extrinsic sugar; these sugars are in the same classification as regular table sugars. It may be a shock to some that many smoothies contain more sugar than a regular can of Coca-Cola! Here’s a few examples:
- Marks & Spencers Super Berry Smoothie – 12.2g sugar per 100ml
- Innocent’s Magnificent Mango Smoothie – 11g sugar per 100ml
- Naked’s Red Machine Smoothie – 11.2g sugar per 100ml
- Pret’s Fresh Berry Blast Smoothie – 10.7g sugar per 100ml
So with that in mind, we thought we would look at the aspect which draws many toward the juicing diet. The question is, are smoothies and fruit juices part of your five a day? Although the answer is yes, it’s not quite as simple as it may first seem. The juicing process removes fibre from the ingredients and unfortunately this changes things.
The Government’s guidelines state that a 150ml glass of juice can count as one of your five-a -day, but increasing the amount you drink won’t increase the number you are consuming – it’s still just one of your five-a-day. Some blended drinks may claim they contain two portions of fruit or vegetables in which case they must contain at least 150ml of juice and more than 80g of crushed pulp. Like juices, the limit is still capped and this will only ever count as two portions of your five-a-day, no matter how much you drink.
Moving back to our oral health concerns, you may be surprised to know it’s not actually the amount of sugar that is consumed that can increase the risk of caries. It is the length of time that your teeth, specifically their surfaces, are exposed to free sugars and other carbs. So with this in mind, if you’re consuming juices because you want the benefits of vitamins and minerals the answer is simple – eat your vegetables! Reduce the frequency of sugar consumption and if you are going to consume a smoothie, do it with a meal and through a straw.
If you’re concerned about the damage that sugars may have had on your teeth, please call the practice to book an oral health check-up on 01527 872528.