Smoothies will no longer count as two of the 5 a day recommended consumption of fruit & veg.
As well as saying they should only count as one, new advice from Public Health England also recommends smoothies should be limited to 150ml a day and that they should only ever be consumed at mealtimes.
PHE, which today also refreshed its 5 a day logo, said its advice that only a 150ml serving of fruit juice counts as one of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day had now been extended to cover the vast range of smoothie products, because of their “high sugar content”.
The new guidance recommends adults should have six to eight glasses of fluids per day, ideally from water, lower-fat milks and unsweetened tea or coffee. It states consumers should not drink a whole 250ml bottle of smoothie, which is a common format used by many smoothie makers.
“A smoothie, together with fruit juice, now only counts as one of your 5 a day and should be drunk with a meal as it’s high in sugar,” said PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone.
An Innocent spokeswoman said: “We’re pleased that in the announcements from PHE on 5 a day and in the Budget on soft drinks, the government are confirming the important role juices and smoothies play in making it easier for people to get their 5 a day and to live well.
“Our business is all about helping people get more fruit & veg into their diet and we are proud of the contribution our drinks make to that. Whilst we understand PHE’s decision to simplify their guidance on 5 a day by defining both juices and smoothies as one of your 5 a day, we strongly stand behind the fact that our smoothies bring additional benefits, which is why until now they have been classified as two of your 5 a day.
“Of course, the update to the 5 a day guidance doesn’t change what you get when you drink an Innocent smoothie: whole crushed fruit and juice, no added sugar, and the good stuff from at least five different fruits like fibre, vitamins and phytonutrients.”
Gavin Partington, director general of the BSDA, said: ”The changed advice on Smoothie portion recommendations in the 5 A Day campaign are poorly thought out and are likely to confuse consumers, rather than help them. It is quite apparent that Briton’s are struggling to reach 5 A Day already and this does not help.
‘It seems the approach is driven by a desire to appease campaign groups, rather than based on evidence.”