The startling amount of sugar in popular festive hot drinks

A new study of festive hot drinks from high street coffee shops has found that certain varieties contain as many as 14 teaspoons of sugar. This sickly-sweet discovery was made by OnBuy.com, who analysed the sugar content of the latest festive drinks in Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero, Pret a Manger and Greggs.

The sweetest of these high street offerings was found to be Caffè Nero’s Belgian Truffle Hot Chocolate, which had an unthinkable 56.9g of sugar – which equates to 14 teaspoons. Not far behind was Pret a Manger’s Orange Hot Chocolate, which contained 50.5g of sugar – or 12.6 tsp. One cupful of this alone is twice the daily recommended sugar allowance for a young child. We think it’s a scandal!

Guidelines recommend adults eat no more than 27-30g of added sugar (free sugar) per day, a figure which is clearly hugely exceeded in just one of these high street offerings. Our solution? Make your own warming winter drinks! If you want something sweet, add your own honey or maple syrup, so that you have control over its added sugar content. Instead of heading to a high street chain, try our chilli hot chocolate recipe, which uses dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa: this contains far less sugar than milk chocolate. Make it at home and take it out in a flask with you or re-heat at work to avoid the temptation of a shop-bought alternative. Your wellbeing will thank you for it.