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Research highlights hidden dangers of sugar in alcohol

Sugar consumption is one of the main causes of dental caries, and dentists around the world have tried throughout their careers to limit the amount of that their patients consume. However, cutting sugar out of your diet is very difficult, as many people are consistently finding that there is hidden sugar in their food and drink.

A study carried out by experts for the Telegraph newspaper found that one of the main culprits is alcohol. People might not associate the substance with sugar, but the amount contained in a variety of alcoholic drinks is significant enough to contribute to tooth decay.

The researchers found that a premixed 250ml can of Gordon’s gin and Schweppes tonic contains around 3.5 teaspoons of sugar, or around 14g. For context, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that an adult consumes no more than six teaspoons (25g) of sugar a day.

A single gin and tonic, therefore, would provide an adult with more than half of their recommended daily allowance of sugar. Similarly, a 100ml measure of sherry contains roughly two teaspoons (9.5g) of sugar, and a 500ml bottle of Premium Spitfire Kentish Ale contains around one teaspoon (5g).

The main culprit among alcohols, however, is cider. The popular beverage contains a massive five teaspoons (20.5g), which is over 80 per cent of the amount of sugar the WHO recommends an adult consumes in a day.

These results show that all it could take in theory is two drinks to send an average adult over the amount of sugar they should be consuming in a day. Dr Aseem Malhotra, science director of Action on Sugar, said: “I enjoy the occasional drink as much as anyone else but it is clearly better to choose the option with the least amount of sugar.

“The evidence for added sugar being the number one health villain in the diet grows ever stronger. Evidence reveals that a moderate amount of red wine, which is comparatively low in sugar, may actually protect against cardiovascular disease and this is my drink of choice.”

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