10 Feb Diet: what is a healthy amount of sugar?
Sugar is hidden in the most unexpected food and drink: so eating a healthy amount of sugar in your diet isn’t easy. The Government in the UK are looking at introducing measures to curb our intake of sugar including better labelling of produce and even a “sugar tax” is being considered. However, whilst we wait for MP’s to take action, this article should help you to maintain healthy levels of sugar in your diet.
It is worth pointing out that the cells in our body need sugar, in the form of glucose, to survive. However, a diet with an unhealthy amount of sugar in it can lead to obesity, type-2 diabetes and poor dental health.
The main offender
The biggest offenders when it comes to consuming unhealthy levels of sugar are “free sugars”. Essentially free sugars are glucose, fructose and sucrose which are added to food and drink. Whilst they may give us energy, these free sugars have no nutritional value and should be avoided.
You’ll be shocked to know…
There is a fantastic website called sugarstacks in which you can see photos of products with stacks of sugar, equal to their contents, lying next to them. We can’t cover all the food and drink in quite the same detail as sugarstacks, so we recommend you take a look for yourself.
However, some surprisingly sugary foods you need to watch out for are: barbecue sauce, fruit yoghurt, bread, ready-made pasta sauce and, would you believe it, dried fruit! Some brands actually add sugar to further sweeten the taste of dried fruit, so please read the label before you buy it!
Without a doubt, the biggest sugar bomb comes in the form of energy drinks. These guys put coca-cola to shame (and cola is no saint) with up to 83 grams of sugar in some cans of energy drinks. It is nigh on impossible to have a healthy amount of sugar in your diet if you’re drinking energy drinks regularly.
1. Try to drink sugary drinks through a straw, at least this way you’ll be protecting your teeth.
2. Always read the label. All too often sugar is added to products.
3. Cut sugar from your hot drinks, or at least cut down.
4. Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals but not those coated with sugar or honey.
5. Remember your recommended daily allowance is 50g (women) or 70g (men).
We need sugar so don’t avoid it at all costs! It’s just worrying how so many of our foods and drinks contain it. So try to remember some of the tips and warnings in this article and ensure your diet contains a healthy amount of sugar.