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By Annie Gill, Nutritional Therapist BANT/CNHC/ANP
A shocking static I read recently is that the average individual consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. That’s an incredible amount. In fact, that’s 88g sugar per day. This ease at which this unwanted accolade is achieved is in fact that most of this sugar is ‘hidden’ in the foods we eat.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 30g max for adults. Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes). Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).
Packaged and processed foods are laden with added sugars. Even what we deem as ‘healthy’ food such as cereals, cereal bars, salad dressings, pasta sauces and yoghurts are full of sugars. Low fat options in particular replace fats with sugar to make them taste better as well as help preserve them. These sugars come in many guises that, to the untrained eye, would not be recognised as sugar. Take a look at your ingredients label. If they contain any of the following, then there’s sugar in that food.
Here are some of the other names that sugar goes by:
|Barley malt||Honey/ maple syrup|
|Caramel||Inverted sugar syrup|
|Dextrin or dextrose||Maltodextrin|
|Fruit juice||Refiner’s syrup|
|Golden syrup||Sorghum syrup|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)||Sucrose|
If you are concerned about added sugar, it’s important to read the nutritional label on packaged foods. Every 4 grams of sugar is 1 tsp of sugar: e.g. if a product contains 12g of sugar then that equals 3 tsp. of sugar. Also, if sugar is one of the first 3 ingredients listed this indicates that this food has a high level of added sugar.
Beware of the foods that seemingly look healthy but are in-fact laden with added sugars. For example:
Foods containing hidden sugars to watch out for
Eating too much sugar can affect your health in a multitude of ways:
Try to eat foods in their natural state. Steer clear of low-fat, processed foods that are convenient but laden with added sugar. If you do eat sugar, eat it in moderation and in its most natural form and try to keep within your 30g RDI.