June 21, 2024
As temperatures rise, many people turn to juices and cold drinks for relief. Among the popular choices is sugarcane juice. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a warning about the high sugar content in sugarcane juice, advising minimal consumption due to health concerns. The ICMR, in collaboration with the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), has introduced 17 new guidelines to promote healthier eating habits.

High Sugar Content in Sugarcane Juice

The ICMR highlighted the significant sugar levels in sugarcane juice, which contains 13-15 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. “Sugarcane juice, which is extensively consumed in India, particularly during summers, is high in sugar and hence its consumption should be minimized,” stated the ICMR. Medical experts recommend that adults should consume no more than 30 grams of free sugar daily, while children aged 7 to 10 should limit their intake to 24 grams.

Eat Whole Fruits Avoid Juices

The ICMR also advises against consuming fruit juices with added sugar, suggesting that whole fruits are a healthier alternative due to their fiber and nutrient content. Freshly made juices should use no more than 100-150 grams of whole fruit. “Whole fruits are preferable as they contain fiber and other nutrients,” the ICMR noted.

Soft Drinks are not substitute of water

Soft drinks, both carbonated and non-carbonated, are also on the ICMR’s list of beverages to avoid. These drinks may contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, edible acids, and artificial flavors, which can be harmful in excess. “Soft drinks are not substitutes for water or fresh fruits and should be avoided,” the ICMR stated. Alternatives such as buttermilk, lemon water, whole fruit juice (without added sugar), and coconut water are recommended.

Health Risks of Tea and Coffee

One of these guidelines cautions against excessive consumption of tea and coffee due to their caffeine content. A 150ml cup of brewed coffee contains 80 to 120 mg of caffeine, while tea contains 30 to 65 mg per serving. The recommended daily caffeine intake limit is 300 mg.

The ICMR advises against consuming tea or coffee at least an hour before and after meals, as the tannins in these beverages can inhibit iron absorption, potentially leading to iron deficiency and anemia. Excessive coffee consumption may also increase blood pressure and cause cardiac irregularities.

Encouragement of a Balanced Diet

Alongside these beverage recommendations, the ICMR emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and seafood. The guidelines also advocate for limiting oil, sugar, and salt consumption to maintain overall health.By following these recommendations, individuals can make healthier choices and mitigate potential health risks associated with high sugar and caffeine intake.

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