Is Minute Maid Lemonade Healthy? Here’s The truth

Are you a fan of Minute maid lemonade and wondering if it is healthy? Well, you are not alone.

Minute maid is one of the most popular brands when it comes to beverages. It has a range of fruit-flavored drinks to refresh you on a hot summer day. 

One of these flavored drinks that people widely consume is Minute maid lemonade.

Minute maid lemonade is known for its sweet and tangy flavor and is marketed as made with real lemons. 

However, is it healthy for you?

Short answer: Minute maid lemonade is not healthy as it is extremely high in sugar and contains harmful ingredients like high fructose corn syrup(HFCS), sodium benzoate, and tartrazine.

In this post, I have compiled a list of 5 reasons Minute maid lemonade is not good for you.

But before getting to the list, let’s look at its nutritional value and ingredients.

Also read: Is Jumex Healthy? The Truth About This Fruit Nectar

Nutritional value of Minute maid lemonade

One serving(240ml) of Minute maid lemonade has the following nutrition.

  • Calories: 100
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • protein: 0g
  • Sodium: 35mg

What are the ingredients in Minute maid lemonade?

Minute maid lemonade is made up of Pure filtered water as the primary ingredient, along with concentrated lemon juice.

The other ingredients include High fructose corn syrup(HFCS), Natural flavors, Citric acid, Modified corn starch, Glycerol ester of rosin, Sodium hexametaphosphate & Sodium benzoate & Potassium sorbate & Calcium disodium EDTA, Yellow #5.

Let’s know a bit about these ingredients.

High fructose corn syrup(HFCS): It is a type of sweetener made from corn starch. It is sweeter than regular corn syrup and is often used in processed foods and beverages as a table or regular sugar substitute. 

I’ll discuss it more in detail in the upcoming section, including its health impact.

Natural flavors: Minute maid lemonade contains natural flavors to enhance the drink’s flavor. However, these natural flavors are not revealed on the ingredients label.

Citric acid: It adds a tart and tangy flavor to Minute maid lemonade and helps preserve it.

Modified corn starch: It is an ingredient derived from Corn that acts as a Thickener(to increase the viscosity of a liquid) or as a stabilizer(to preserve structure) in foods and beverages.

Glycerol ester of rosin: It is a food additive used as an emulsifier in most foods and beverages. It helps to keep all the ingredients evenly distributed and prevent separation.

Preservatives: Minute maid lemonade contain various preservatives that help to improve flavor and increase the shelf life.

These preservatives include:

  • Sodium hexametaphosphate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Calcium disodium EDTA

Yellow #5: It is an artificial food coloring produced from petroleum. It is widely used in sodas, sports drinks, and lemon-lime flavored drinks.

5 Reasons Minute maid lemonade is not healthy

Minute maid lemonade is not healthy

1. Extremely high in added sugar

Minute maid lemonade is extremely high in added sugar containing 27g per 240ml. If you drank a whole can(360ml), you would consume 40.5g of sugar or approximately 10 teaspoons.

That’s way more sugar than what you get in an entire can of Coca-Cola.

According to American Heart Association, the daily added sugar limit for men is 36g, while for women, it is 24g.

Consuming just one serving(240ml) of Minute maid lemonade would exceed 75% of the daily limit of sugar for men and over 100% for women.

If consumed frequently or in large amounts, Minute maid lemonade can increase the risk of various health issues such as obesity, weight gain, diabetes, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay, and heart disease.

Here is the sugar comparison of Minute maid lemonade to other popular lemonade brands.

Lemonade brandSugar(g)
Minute maid lemonade27
Capri sun lemonade9
Simply lemonade28
Santa Cruz organic original lemonade20
per 240ml

2. Use of high fructose corn syrup

While high fructose corn syrup is listed as the second ingredient, it is the primary reason why Minute maid lemonade cannot be considered healthy.

High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, is an artificial sweetener produced by adding an enzyme to corn syrup. This enzyme converts some of the glucose presents in corn syrup into fructose.

According to research, HFCS consumption has been associated with various health issues such as weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and increased inflammation[1].

Additionally, some experts even believe that high fructose corn syrup may be more harmful than other sweeteners due to its high concentration of fructose, which can contribute to liver damage and metabolic dysfunction.

3. Use of artificial color

Most of you may believe that the bright yellow color of Minute Maid lemonade is due to the added lemons.

But, in reality, the bright yellow color of Minute maid lemonade is due to the added artificial color called Tartrazine(yellow #5).

While this artificial color is approved in many countries, it has been linked with allergies, anxiety, hyperactivity in children, abdominal pain, and contains carcinogens[2][3].

Although, the negative effects of Tartrazine are more likely to occur with high doses, it is crucial to remember that it is widely used in food industries, increasing the risk of overdosing.

4. Use of sodium benzoate

Minute maid lemonade uses sodium benzoate as one of the preservatives that helps prevent mold or bacteria growth.

However, some studies have linked sodium benzoate with various health issues such as hyperactivity, increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and certain allergies[4][5].

Also, when sodium benzoate comes in contact with ascorbic acid(vitamin C), which is also present in Minute maid lemonade, it gets converted into benzene(a cancer-causing substance).

Though, the levels of benzene in beverages are typically low(in safe amounts), but if consumed too much of these types of beverages can increase the risk of cancer.

5. Risk of tooth cavities

Not only chocolate and candies but sugar-loaded beverages are also becoming one of the leading causes of dental issues.

Being extremely high in sugar, consuming Minute maid lemonade increases the risk of complex dental consequences such as, dental erosion and tooth decay. 

Is Minute maid lemonade good for weight loss?

Minute maid lemonade is not ideal for weight loss as it is extremely high in sugar.

Drinking just a single can of Minute Maid Lemonade can provide 150 calories and 40g of sugar, which is more than the recommended daily intake of added sugars for adults. 

This can cause spikes in blood sugar and crashes, leading to cravings and overeating.

If you are on a weight loss diet, it’s best to stick to homemade lemonade. It gives you complete control over all the ingredients in your drink.

Remember that weight loss depends not only on one food but on your overall diet and lifestyle.

Is Minute maid lemonade carbonated?

The regular Minute maid lemonade is not carbonated as it is made up of Pure filtered water as the base ingredient.

However, Minute maid has a line of sparkling lemonade drinks, which are carbonated. 

These are labeled as “Minute Maid Sparkling” and are available in various flavors, including lemonade.

Does Minute maid lemonade have caffeine?

No, Minute maid lemonade does not contain caffeine.

Is Minute maid lemonade healthier than soda?

Minute maid lemonade is not healthier than soda because it has more sugar than most sodas and contains artificial colors and preservatives.

However, it can still be considered better than soda as it contains lemon juice and some vitamin C levels. In comparison, there is no nutrition in soda. 

But, from a truly health perspective, neither Minute maid lemonade nor soda are healthy drinks, and it’s best to avoid or limit both.

Here is a quick nutrition comparison of Minute maid lemonade to popular sodas like Coca-cola and Pepsi.

NutrientsMinute maid lemonadeCoco colaPepsi
per 100ml serving

Is minute maid light lemonade healthy?

While Minute maid light lemonade is the sugar-free and low-calorie version of regular lemonade, it is not entirely healthy as it contains ingredients like sodium benzoate and tartrazine.

A single serving of Minute maid light lemonade contains only 5 calories.

When compared to regular lemonade, it is indeed a better option for those who are trying to reduce their calorie and sugar intake.

However, it cannot be considered a healthy option as it contains some of the same harmful ingredients that are present in the original lemonade.

In addition, it contains artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose. 

While these sweeteners are deemed safe by the food authorities, it is still important to consume beverages that contain them in moderation.

Update: In June 2023, aspartame was classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Is Minute maid lemonade gluten-free?

Minute maid lemonade is gluten-free as it do not contain any gluten-based ingredients.

Final words

While Minute maid lemonade might help you quench your thirst on a hot summer day, it is not healthy for you.

There are many reasons for this such as:

  • It is extremely high in sugar.
  • It contains high fructose corn syrup.
  • It contains sodium benzoate and tartrazine, which have been linked to several health issues.
  • The Minute maid light flavor contain classified carcinogenic aspartame.

If you want to enjoy lemonade, it’s better to make it by yourself or find one that is not loaded with sugar and doesn’t contain artificial ingredients.

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Yatender is the founder of Investohealth! He provides thoroughly researched, unbiased reviews analyzing packaged foods' ingredients, nutrition, and health impacts. Join him on a quest for healthier, more informed eating habits.

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