Sold by McDonalds as part of a Happy Meal, this fizzy drink claims to be one of your five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables. How so? This is because it contains a mixture of grape, raspberry and lemon fruit juice concentrate blended with fizzy water and some ‘natural’ preservatives.
Complaints from the TV commercial sparked an investigation into the drink by the Advertising Standards watchdog but it ruled the five-a-day benefits still remain in the drink, even considering the 250ml serving contains approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar.
It’s pretty clear that “Frutizz” is not going to do anything beneficial for your health (you can see this by the picture) but are the rules dictating what can be and what can’t be classed as 1 of your 5-a-day a bit too relaxed, therefore allowing foods onto the market claiming to benefit health with little or no nutritional content?
Let’s have a look at this a bit further…
Fruit juice is often marketed as 1 of your 5-a-day but with all the sugar in it (whether added or not) and most of the goodness coming from the pulp that is missing, chances are this is not a good way to get your quota. In fact a study has indicated an increase risk associated with diabetes with fruit juice consumption (1). This again is part to do with the lack of fibre, other phytochemicals, the sugar load and also how rapidly it is absorbed. So there is clear evidence that fruit juice can affect your health and not in a good way, yet it is marketed to be beneficial.
So how is the best way to get your 5-a-day?
The World Health Organisation guidance suggests adults consume 400g of fruit and vegetable a day. Split this into 5 portions we get each portion needing to be 80g.
Fruit: Even fruit itself contains sugar. This is in the form of fruit sugar called Fructose. Limit your consumption of fruit a day to 2 portions and opt for lower sugar fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, melon.
Vegetables: 3 portions of your allowance should be in the form of vegetables. The best vegetables to consume are those grown above the ground. Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Cauliflower are some examples.
Juices: If you are going to have a juice, it is best to make your own with a juicer. You can add all different types of mixes of fruit and vegetables and plenty of recipes online. If you are going to have a fruit juice from a carton, mix it with water to lower the sugar content.
Variety is key so try out different fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting a range of vitamins and minerals. Eat a rainbow.
Typical day’s meal plan to maximise your fruit and vegetable intake:
Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries and raspberries
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with lettuce tomato, cucumber and avocado
Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese with peppers, corn and tomato
Snack: Freshly juiced kiwi, apple, strawberry & spinach juice with a handful of almonds.
(1)Bazzano, L, Li, T, Joshipura K, Hu F (2008) Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women. Diabetes Care, 31: 7, p1311-1317.