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Just 2 Glasses Of Wine Can Smash Daily Sugar Recommendation

Just 2 Glasses Of Wine Can Smash Daily Sugar Recommendation
Monica Green
Writer and expert2 years ago
View Monica Green's profile

The NHS recommends adults consume no more than 30g of “free sugars” per day. These are any sugars added to foods or drinks, usually sweets, biscuits and fizzy drinks, and do not include sugars found naturally in fruit and veg. With this in mind, new research suggests not-so-sweet news may be on the way for wine drinkers.

Analysis of more than 30 bottles of wine has found that drinking as few as two glasses a day can be enough to exceed the recommended daily sugar allowance. Read on for details of the research, its results and what this could mean for fans of an evening tipple.

how much sugar in wine

The research

The research was carried out by Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), an organisation campaigning for restrictions on alcohol marketing, nutritional information on packaging, and more support for at-risk drinkers.

The AHA used an independent lab to carry out the analysis, which investigated some of the UK’s most popular rosé, white, red, fruit, and sparkling wines.

Out of these products, calorie content was displayed on just one fifth, while none of the bottles displayed full nutritional information.

Alcoholic drinks aren’t currently required by law to display nutritional information, but organisations like AHA are campaigning for this to be changed so that people are more aware of what they are consuming.


The results

The research showed that the daily recommended amount of 30g of free sugars can be exceeded after just two medium-sized glasses of wine, with some bottles containing up to 59g of sugar.

There was also another surprising key finding — some lower-strength wines were among those containing the most sugar.


So, what does this mean?

The study suggests we may be in the dark about the nutrition content of what we drink. Organisations like the AHA believe all the nutrition information should be clearly labelled, just as it is with other food and drink.

And it’s not an unpopular policy suggestion either — a YouGov survey from May 2021 found that 61% of people want calorie content displayed on alcohol labels, and 53% want sugar content displayed on the label.

The government has considered calorie labelling on alcohol in the past, with the most recent consultation happening in 2020. However, for now there are no legal requirements for calories to be listed. And to date no consultation has considered whether nutrition content other than calories should be made clearer. Will this study change things? We’ll have to wait and see.


Take home message

If you’re concerned about your sugar intake, it may be worth looking at what you’re drinking a little more closely to see if it contains more calories than you realise. We'll have to wait and see if this study triggers the government to revisit this debate, but if you’re curious about sugar content in alcohol, the NHS has a guide where you can calculate how much is in several different drinks.

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Monica Green
Writer and expert
View Monica Green's profile
Originally from London, Monica graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Philosophy. After discovering a love for the gym whilst studying, Monica was drawn to weight training which helped her hugely through stressful times as a student. From writing for a popular student site, Monica developed her skills as an author, writing trending feature pieces regularly. She is thrilled to be able to combine her love for writing with her passion for the gym. In her spare time Monica loves to cook, try out new restaurants with friends and explore new walking trails.