The Facts: Sugar

The Facts Sugar

Sugar Fact Alert!! Sugar is a hot topic at the moment, with sugar free diets being the new craze, but what sugar is ok and what should we be cutting down on?

Last Friday, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition made new recommendations on sugar for the British Government. They recommended that sugar which is added to food should be called ´Free Sugars´. This includes all added sugars, honey, maple syrup and agave syrup as well as fruit juices. It has been recommended that in order to control our energy intake and help weight maintenance, we limit free sugars to 5% of our energy intake.

This would mean limiting our free sugar intake to the following depending on age:

Adults (aged 11+): 30g a day
Children aged 4-10: 24g a day
Children aged 4-6: 4-6g a day

The below is a guide for understanding how quickly eating 30g free sugars can add up:

1 teaspoon of sugar is 5g of sugar
Coke has 35g sugar (355ml can)
Cranberry Juice has 29g sugar (250ml serving)
Mars Bar has 33g sugar (51g bar)

The new recommendations are only for sugars that have been removed from their natural casing. Sugars not included in the 30g sugar limit are fresh fruits, dried fruits or dairy products.

Calculating the amount of sugar we are eating isn´t always easy, but it is something to be mindful of, especially for weight maintenance and overall health!

Sources:

The full report from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/446010/Why_5__-_The_Science_Behind_SACN.pdf

Below is a guide to the sugar content of different foods:  http://www.dentalhealth.org/uploads/download/resourcefiles/download_19_1_Sugar-Table.pdf

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