How to Eat Less Sugar

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We all need a little sweetness in our life, but it pays to watch your sugar intake.

There’s nothing like a tasty chocolate biscuit or sweet cup of tea to give you a little pick-me-up, but we all need to watch our intake of sugar as part of a healthy diet.

There are lots of different words used to describe sugar - sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, corn syrup, honey – they are all different kinds of sugars

Although sugars can provide a valuable source of energy, they’re also a concentrated source of calories, so it’s important to moderate your intake. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to tooth decay and weight gain.

When you’re totting up your sugar intake, aim to average no more than the reference intake (RI) of 90g each day for adults. Remember that every teaspoon of sugar you stir into your tea or add to cereal adds another 5g.

Use the information on product labels to keep a check on what you are eating. Some food labels use red, amber and green colour coding which makes it easier to choose food that is lower in total fat, saturated fat, and sugar and salt. Choose more ’greens’ and ’ambers’ and fewer 'reds'. Labels also have the percentage of the “reference intake” for the main nutrients. More than 22.5g of sugar per 100g (25% RI) or more than 27g of sugar per serving (30% RI) serving is high or "red".

Fruits, juices, vegetables and dairy products all contain sugars too but you get vitamins and minerals and fibre with most of them.

If you love your sweet treats there’s no need to deprive yourself just make some simple changes: -

* Swap to diet or sugar free versions of drinks

* Use an artificial sweetener in hot drinks and custard

* Use fruit to sweeten cereals and desserts

* Look out for reduced sugar or sugar free products

* Cut down gradually and for some things you won’t notice there is less sugar!

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