”Dentists Warn of the Hidden High Level of Sugar in Festive Drinks” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
The UK has fast become a nation of coffee drinkers and while more coffee shops continue to open up on high streets across the country, most people are unaware of the high amount of sugar that is hidden within those special festive flavoured coffee treats. Big-name coffee chains always run a seasonal range of flavoured coffee, tea and hot chocolate but the sugar content of these festive favourites often contain the equivalent of three Coca Cola cans.
Action on Sugar conducted a survey of popular high street coffee shop festive drinks and found that all of the large-sized drinks tested would receive a red traffic light for their sugar content, which is awarded for drinks that contain greater than 13.5g of sugar per portion.
Reduced sugar targets are not being met.
Although leading coffee company Costa making an effort to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks since 2016, most other coffee chains have failed to take action. Coffee shops have been encouraged to take steps to reduce the levels of sugar in their drinks and also offer smaller portion size options. They have also been encouraged to push lower sugar alternative treats at the till to help reduce sugar consumption. However, popular seasonal festive drinks are usually flavoured with sugar syrups that only add to the already high sugar content.
The Worst Offenders
For example, a Starbucks Signature Caramel hot chocolate contains a whopping 93.7g of sugar in just one Venti-sized drink; no wonder why it tastes so yummy and addictive! Starbucks also top the sugar tables with their Gingerbread Latte Venti made with oat milk with 56.6g of sugar per serving. According to Action on Sugar, ‘the amount of sugar in Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte with oat milk is the equivalent of eating 17 custard cream biscuits.’
Costa fares a little better with their Hazelnut Praline and Cream Latte coming in at 32.5g of sugar per Medio serving, but this is still very high in sugar compared to a regular coffee with milk. Despite the high sugar levels found in these festive drinks, these treats would not be eligible for the UK sugar tax.
Glow Dental Advice
While no one wants to sound like the Grinch at Christmas, the team at Glow Dental want to remind you that high sugar drinks are a major contributor to plaque build-up and tooth decay. This is a time of year where we all enjoy sweet treats and it can be very easy to overdo the Christmas biscuits, sweets, chocolates and cake, but many people fail to realise just how much extra sugar they are consuming with these winter festive drinks.
It is highly recommended that if you want to indulge in a festive drink from a coffee shop while out and about Christmas shopping, then remember to brush your teeth once you get home and use mouthwash to help flush away any sugar residue from places you cannot reach with your toothbrush.
Once all of the festivities are over and we are settling into a New Year, it makes a lot of sense to book yourself an appointment with a dental hygienist to have a deep clean. It’s like a spa day for your mouth!
Glow Dental can give your teeth a thorough clean, both above and below the gums to remove tartar (calculus) which has built up around the teeth, and polish off any surface stains that come from eating and drinking staining foods and drink such as coffee and red wine. Contact us to book an appointment today!