Drink recipe too sweet to be wholesome

THERE is an obesity epidemic in Ireland and the first line of defence is to eat smart. As a result, accurate food information is critical.

Hence, I was intrigued to read Darina Allen’s column (August 9) introducing her recipe for blackcurrant cordial that suggested blackcurrant drinks “protect against colds in the winter”.

Her recipe declared it was “packed with vitamin C”. Clearly, Ms Allen was suggesting her recipe was a very healthy one.

However, a closer look at the recipe’s ingredient list reveals that her blackcurrant cordial when served correctly (one part cordial, 4 parts water) in a glass (250ml) gives 16% more sugar than the same amount of Coca Cola.

The vitamin C content per serving (glass) can hardly be described as “packed” as one would have to drink 3.6 glasses of Ms. Allen’s sugar-laden blackcurrant drink to obtain the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. This would equate to the same calorie intake as nearly two Mars bars.

On the other hand, one large kiwi provides more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and nearly four times less sugar than a glass of Ms. Allen’s blackcurrant drink.

In the interest of smart eating, the Irish Examiner should list the calories and sugars in a serving of Ms Allen’s recipes or, at the very least, ensure she doesn’t suggest her recipes have health benefits when they are “packed” with sugar.

Shane Morris

Department of Biochemistry


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