Sugar…doo doo do do doo doo…ah honey honey…doo doo do do doo doo…you can cause cavities…and it’s something that I do not need!!
Most processed foods and drinks that we consume in our diet contain large amounts of added sugars. The average Australian consumes between 15 to 20 teaspoons of sugar per day (60-82grams).
Below is a table showing the approximate amounts of sugar in several drinks available
Water: 0 Sugar – The best choice of drink
Milk (low fat) 250ml (natural sugars): 14grams (3 teaspoons)
100% Fruit Juice 250ml (natural sugars): 24grams (6 teaspoons)
Flavoured Milk 300ml (added sugars): 28grams (7 teaspoons)
Flavoured Fruit Drink 250ml (added sugars): 27grams (7 teaspoons)
Energy Drinks (added sugars): 36grams (8.5 teaspoons)
Soft Drink Can 375ml (added sugars): 38grams (9 teaspoons)
Soft Drink 600ml (added sugars): 64grams (15 teaspoons)
Soft Drink 1.25L (added sugars): 137grams (33 teaspoons)
The World Health Organisation recommends that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake, A reduction to below 5% or roughly 25grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits. High consumption of sugar can lead to dental decay, diabetes and obesity.
Bear in mind that you do not need to avoid sugar that occurs naturally in whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and dairy as they contain other nutrients and minerals and fibres that are healthy and make them overall more nutritious and beneficial than products with added sugars. When purchasing products check the label to see if the sugar content is >15g per 100g. If so check for sugar or sugar alternatives higher up in the ingredient list.
Sugar alternatives have alternate names such as:
- agave nectar
- brown rice syrup
- brown sugar
- cane juice
- cane sugar
- caster sugar
- corn syrup
- demerara sugar
- golden syrup
- high fructose corn syrup
- icing sugar
- invert sugar
- malt syrup
- maple syrup
- muscovado sugar
- palm sugar
- raw sugar
- rock sugar
- turbinado sugar
Speak to your dentist who can help you with oral hygiene tips to help prevent decay; your doctor who can help you with other health issues that high consumption of sugar can cause and even a dietitian, who may be able to assist with meal planning and healthy alternative to sugar.
If you would like to reduce sugar in your life, do it slowly. The occasional cake, sweet, soft drink etc at parties or after dinner is OK. Just make sure its not a regular thing.
Remember to enjoy life, live healthy, laugh heartily and always SMILE!