IT’s no secret that booze isn’t good for us – and most people recognise cider probably isn’t the healthiest option.
But do you know quite how bad your favourite fruity tipple is?
A Sun investigation can reveal the worst offenders when it comes to calories and sugar.
In first place overall is Brothers Toffee Apple Cider, which contains a whopping 61.9 calories and 7.7g of sugar per 100ml.
This means every 500ml bottle will set you back a staggering 310 calories and 40g of sugar – way above that in a Cadbury Double Decker (250 calories and 30g of sugar).
The silver medal goes to Aspall Draught Cyder, which is 285 calories and 19g of sugar per bottle.
This is about the same as a chocolate sprinkles doughnut from Krispy Kreme.
And in joint third place is Kopparberg Mixed Fruit Cider and Henry Westons Vintage Cider, with 275 calories per 500ml.
The healthiest overall is Stowford Press Apple Cider.
It has just 30 calories and 1g of sugar per 100ml, or 132 and 4.4g per 440ml can.
This was closely tailed by Strongbow Original Cider and Bulmers Original Cider, with 37 calories and 2.9g of sugar per 100ml.
When you factor in the size difference of the vessels they come in (440ml can vs 500ml bottle respectively), they work out around the same.
Strongbow has 12.8g of sugar and 163 calories, while Bulmers boasts 14g and 185 calories.
When it comes to supermarket own-brand varieties, Aldi’s Taurus Original Cider scores the worst.
It contains about the same number of calories as a KitKat Chunky (211), and 4.8g of sugar in every 440ml.
The Medium Dry Cider from Morrisons was next in line, with 207 calories. Sugar content information was not available.
And the least calorific and sugar-filled options in the unbranded category were Waitrose’s Duchy Organic Vintage Cider and Tesco Apple Cider.
The fancy fizz contains 180 and 10g per 500ml, while the more budget variety has 178 and 8.8g in every 440ml.
The NHS recommends women consume no more than 2,000 calories a day and men should stick to around 2,500.
People should also aim to scoff no more than 30g of free sugars a day – equivalent to roughly seven sugar cubes.
Free sugars are those added to foods and drinks, and ones found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purees.
Experts suggest these should not make up more than five per cent of the energy – or calories – we get from food and drink every day.
Jaclyn London, a registered dietitian based in New York, told The Sun: “Regular cider, sodas, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea beverages and various alcohol mixers all have the same thing in common – they provide added sugar in liquid calorie form.
“Since these drinks are everywhere, it’s easy to understand why they’re our primary source of added sugar and why it’s easy to over consume.
“But we don’t get the same sensory experience from drinking calories vs eating them.
“Consuming beverages is like an efficient delivery system for bringing in added sugar into our bodies’ cells because it requires less breakdown during the digestive process and is quickly absorbed from our GI tract into our bloodstream, triggering an insulin response to deliver it straight to our fat storage cells.
“Long story short, the more simple sugar (refined carbs) we consume, the more ‘gunk’ (byproducts) our bodies produce as a result of multiple metabolic responses.
“This can increase free radicals (which can be damaging to healthy tissues) and inflammation-promoting cytokines (proteins produced by our immune system, some of which can exacerbate the process of cellular damage).”
But Jaclyn said that it’s important to remember that in healthy adults, this is a process that occurs over time from consuming added sugars in excess of what our bodies need – not from having the occasional pint in the pub.
“That said, we do know that most of us are over consuming added sugar, saturated fat and sodium.
“So as a registered dietitian, I’m all in favour of making smarter beverage choices that reduce the amount of added sugar you consume from these somewhat sneaky sources – especially since it can often be tough to tell if something is sweetened or not without reading a drink’s label,” she said.
“Since beverages with added sugar are less likely to promote feelings of real satiety (you’re likely choosing to drink a beverage because it tastes good and because you feel thirsty, not hungry, right?) and they’re often higher in added sugar than what you’d get from just having a piece of chocolate or some ice cream.
“My best advice would be to scan ingredients for sources of sugar in liquid form so that you can make the choice to actually eat dessert – not drink it.
“So as long as you’re making choices from an informed place, that’s ultimately what matters most when it comes to creating a healthier eating pattern overall.
“Sometimes, the ‘healthier for you’ choice will be one that’s higher in added sugar, and that’s OK – providing you’re making unsweetened beverage choices most of the time and choosing foods for the rest of your meals and snacks that align with your personal health priorities.”