Sugar-free squash is a popular alternative to regular squash. Some people think it’s healthy, while others say it’s not as good for you. So, is sugar-free squash good or bad for you? Before you decide to give sugar-free squash a try, read on to learn more about its health benefits and drawbacks.
What is sugar-free squash?
Sugar-free squash is a concentrated syrup that has no added sugar and just a trace of natural sugars. To drink it you simply add a desired amount of water just like with any other squash or cordial. This drink is normally made from concentrated fruit juices, and sometimes has added vitamins and minerals.
Sugar-free squash contains fewer calories than regular squash, and it’s often marketed as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. It is not to be confused with the “no added sugar” squash which can still contain quite a lot of natural sugars.
What are the ingredients in sugar-free squash?
The main ingredient in sugar-free squash is water. Fruit juices, sweeteners, preservatives and acidity regulator are also common ingredients. Some brands also add vitamins and minerals, colours and natural flavouring.
The type of sweetener used varies, but most sugar-free squashes use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Acesulfame K, or sucralose.
There are not many sugar-free squashes on the market that indeed have 0% sugar. Some of them are actually advertised as being sugar-free but still contain a little bit of sugar.
These are the sugar-free squashes that we found with little to no sugar available in the UK and their ingredients:
- Tovali Sugar Free Lemon Squash: Water, Comminuted Lemons (5%), Lemon Juice Natural Strength, Acid (Citric Acid), Acidity Regulator (Tri Sodium Citrate), Intense Sweeteners (Aspartame*, Sodium Saccharin), Preservatives (Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulphite), Natural Flavourings, *Contains a Source of Phenylalanine
- Teisseire 0% Sugar Elderflower Syrup: Water, Bulking Agent: Polydextrose, Acid: Citric Acid, Natural Elderflower Flavouring with other Natural Flavourings, Thickener: Xanthan Gum, Sweeteners: Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate
- Vimto No Added Sugar Squash: Water, Mixed Fruit Juices from Concentrate 10% (Grape, Blackcurrant, Raspberry), Acids (Citric Acid, Malic Acid), Vimto Flavouring (including Natural Extracts of Fruits, Herbs, Barley Malt and Spices), Colouring Food (Concentrates of Carrot, Hibiscus), Sweeteners (Sucralose, Acesulfame K), Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate), Vitamin C, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Vitamin D
Sugar-free squash – Nutritional values
Here are the nutritional values for 100ml of some popular sugar-free squashes:
|Values per 100 ml (diluted)||Tovali Sugar Free Lemon Squash||Teisseire 0% Sugar Elderflower Syrup||Vimto No Added Sugar Squash|
|Energy||1.6 kcal||6 kcal||2 kcal|
|of which sugars||0.04g||<0,5 g||0.3g|
As you can see, all of these sugar-free squashes contain a small amount of carbohydrates and sugars. This is because they are made from fruit juices which naturally contain these nutrients. However, they all have very low-calorie content and are much lower in sugar than regular squash.
All of these sugar-free squashes also have negligible amounts of fat and protein.
Vimto No Added Sugar squash contains added vitamins C and D.
How many calories are in sugar-free squash?
The calorie content of sugar-free squash varies depending on the brand and the specific product. However, most sugar-free squashes have very low-calorie content. For example, Tovali Sugar Free Lemon Squash contains just 1.6 calories per 100ml (diluted), Teisseire 0% Sugar Elderflower Syrup contains 6 calories per 100ml (diluted), and Vimto No Added Sugar Squash contains 2 calories per 100ml (diluted).
What are the health benefits of sugar-free squash?
Sugar-free squash is a healthier alternative to regular squash as it contains almost no sugar and fewer calories. Additionally, some brands of sugar-free squash contain added vitamins and minerals, making them a more nutrient-rich option than regular squash.
If you are trying to lose weight, drinking sugar-free squash instead of sugary drinks can help you to cut down on calorie intake.
Sugar-free squash is also a good option for people with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index and contains no added sugar. This means that it is less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
What are the disadvantages of sugar-free squash?
While sugar-free squash has many health benefits, there are also some disadvantages to consider. One of the main disadvantages of sugar-free squash is that it contains artificial sweeteners which may have a negative impact on your health. For example, artificial sweeteners have been linked to weight gain and other health issues such as gas and bloating.
Other side effects include headaches, depression and diarrhea. If you experience any side effects after drinking sugar-free squash, it is best to stop consuming it and speak to a doctor if necessary.
Is sugar-free squash bad for your teeth?
Although sugar-free squash contains only minimal amounts of sugar it can still damage your teeth due to the acids it contains. One of the acids commonly found in sugar-free squash is citric acid. This acid can wear away your tooth enamel and, with time, cause sensitivity and discomfort. To protect your teeth, you should limit your consumption of acidic drinks such as sugar-free squash.
Does sugar-free squash count as water intake?
The NHS recommends that adults should consume 6 to 8 cups or glasses of fluid a day. This can include water, tea, coffee, milk and lower-sugar or sugar-free drinks. So, yes, sugar-free squash does count as water intake and is a great way to hydrate as it contains no added sugar and is low in calories.
Is sugar-free squash bad for toddlers?
The NHS recommends that babies and young children avoid reduced-calorie beverages as these can still lead to a sweet tooth. This recommendation includes sugar-free squash.
So, while sugar-free squash is not necessarily bad for toddlers, it is best to avoid giving it to them on a regular basis. If you do give your toddler sugar-free squash, make sure to dilute it well and only give them a small amount as too much artificial sweetener can cause side effects.
Is sugar-free squash keto?
Sugar-free squash is a suitable drink for people following a keto diet as it contains almost no sugar and very few carbs. However, it is important to check the label to ensure that it fits within your daily carb allowance. For example, Tovali Sugar Free Lemon Squash contains 0.7g of carbs per 100ml (diluted), Teisseire 0% Sugar Elderflower Syrup contains 1.4g of carbs per 100ml (diluted), and Vimto No Added Sugar Squash contains 1.1g of carbs per 100ml (diluted).
Conclusion – Is sugar-free squash good or bad for you?
Overall, sugar-free squash is a good option for those looking for a healthier alternative to regular squash. It has many health benefits including being low in calories and sugar, as well as containing added vitamins and minerals. However, there are also some disadvantages to consider such as the fact that it contains artificial sweeteners which may have a negative impact on your health. If you experience any side effects after drinking sugar-free squash, it is best to stop consuming it and speak to a doctor if necessary.