Sugar Smart

Too much sugar can lead to the build up of harmful fat on the inside that we can't see. This fat around vital organs can cause weight gain and serious diseases in the future like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Having too much sugar can also cause tooth decay.
 

How much is too much?

 

The maximum daily amounts of added sugar are:

Age 4 to 6

Age 7 to 10

Age 11+

Added sugar is that which has been added to food or drink to sweeten it.  It could be added by the food manufacturer, by a cook, of by you at home.  It doesn't just mean the sugar you add to your tea - it also includes honey, syrups and fruit juice nectars.

 

You don't need to worry about the sugar in milk and plain yogurts as this isn't added sugar.  You also don't need to worry about the sugar in whole fruits and vegetables.  But remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes to protect your teeth. 

 

However fruit juice and smoothies are sugary and can cause tooth decay.

 

Here some surprising, and not so surprising, examples:

 

9 Cubes of Sugar

Probably not a great surprise that fizzy drinks can be very high in sugar, in this case 9 cubes.

Zero Sugar but...

A diet drink has no sugar but can be quite acidic which can erode enamel.  Also evidence is showing that artificial sweetners confuse the body in how to deal with normal sugar, which could lead to weight gain. 

7 Cubes of Sugar

When fruit is blitzed into a juice it loses its fibre, and releases sugar.  Fibre slows sugar absorption and makes us feel full.  However in juices the sugar is absorbed just as if you were having a fizzy drink.  Pure juices, for example fresh orange juice, is highly acidic and can lead to tooth erosion.

9.4 Cubes of Sugar

Plain water and milk is great, but beware of the sugar content in flavored products.

7 Cubes of Sugar

When fruit is blitzed into a juice it loses its fibre, and releases sugar.  Fibre slows sugar absorption and makes us feel full.  However in juices the sugar is absorbed just as if you were having a fizzy drink.  Pure juices, for example fresh orange juice, is highly acidic and can lead to tooth erosion.

53 Cubes of Sugar

Plain cereal and plain porridge are a great alternative.

7 Cubes of Sugar

Pasta sauce can contain a surprising amount of sugar.

26 Cubes of Sugar

We need to be aware of hidden sugar.

There is a very useful app that you can use to scan the barcodes of most products.  It will tell you the sugar, saturated fat and salt content.

Further advice about the contents of food can be found at the change 4 life website.