Most of us know it is best to follow a balanced, nutritious diet and keeping sugar within the recommended daily amount is best. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eight-tips-for-healthy-eating/
However, even when following a balanced diet of there are lots of ways extra sugars can creep in and take us over our recommended daily intake of 30g. Here are the top 10 culprits…
Whilst many of us see cereal as a standard, filling and high fibre breakfast food, it can contain lots of hidden sugars. Not all cereals are created equal, a 30g serving of Frosties is over 1/3 sugar containing 11.1g, compared to cornflakes which contain 2.4g. Make sure you check the ingredients to find lower sugar options for a balanced start to the day.
Shop-bought pasta sauces are often full of secret extra sugars. Dolmio sauce, for example, can contain around 8g of sugar per serving. Making your own is a healthier and cheaper alternative, or simply shop around for lower salt, lower sugar choices.
Whilst spirits alone aren’t high in sugar, topping them up with your favourite mixer can quickly increase your sugar intake. Sweet liquers such as baileys and Kahlua contain 10g and 20g of sugar per 50g serving each! Sweet wines can contain around 30g per bottle and tonic water a massive 32g per can.
The nations favourite condiment is packed full of sugar- just one tablespoon contains 4g! Luckily, if you can’t live without it there are low sugar options available.
The can of coca-cola you grab with your meal deal contains approx. 35g of sugar, and even a similar size bottle of orange juice will contain around 26g. Of course, the latter contains more nutrients that your body will benefit from! Try to be mindful of how often you choose fizzy drinks- and with fruit juice, simply keep an eye on how many portions you drink and try to choose fruit juice that is 100% fruit, watch out for added sugars and avoid juice from concentrate to find healthier options. Many of us also forget the sugar we add to teas and coffees which can quickly bump up our daily intake, especially speciality drinks like your morning vanilla latte! (Sugary drinks aren’t evil, a healthy diet is all about balance!) Always remember to drink plenty of water .
Granola usually contains a fantastic mix of full of micro-nutrients, fibre, protein and healthy fats. Unfortunately, most kinds are also high in sugar and as the recommended serving sizes are quite small, most people tend to eat more per meal. Make sure to check labels to find a lower sugar option, and try eating it with natural yoghurt or fruit to bulk out your meal!
Yoghurts are a fantastic healthy breakfast, snack or dessert that contain gut-boosting probiotics, however many flavoured kinds contain lots of added sugar to give them their sweet, fruity flavour. Checking the label will give you an idea of how much extra sugar you are consuming. If you have a sweet tooth, buying plain natural yoghurt and adding fruit is a great, low sugar alternative.
You may have noticed shop-bought salad dressings can contain large amounts of calories in small amounts. It isn’t the end of the world especially if adding a delicious dressing helps you enjoy a fantastic nutritious salad, but it is something to be mindful of. Low-fat dressings tend to contain even more sugar to compensate for flavour. If you would like a low-sugar alternative, simply check the label; usually vinaigrettes are lower sugar than creamier dressings.
Whole fruit is a great nutritious food, however lots of tinned fruit is packaged in syrup. This adds large amounts of sugar to an otherwise balanced snack. To avoid this, by your tinned fruit in fruit juice instead or even better, eat fresh when you can.
All fruit juices and smoothies contain a natura sugar called fructose. Fructose from whole fruit is good for you, but when you blend or juice fruit, much of the fibre is removed leaving free sugars. Because of this, it is very easy to drink a large amount of sugar in a small drink, especially if it contains extra added sugars. The best thing to do is check the label on pre-made drinks for the amount of sugar or any added sugars, or even better, make your own.