Saturday, December 16, 2017
   
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How much sugar can we eat?

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Health

Sugar-SweetThe government recommends that free sugars – sugars added to food or drinks, and sugars found naturally in honey, syrups, and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purées – shouldn't make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) you get from food and drink each day.

 

This means:

•Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes).

•Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (six sugar cubes).

•Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (five sugar cubes).

•There is no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it's recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it. Find out more about what to feed young children.

 

Free sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the sugary foods we should cut down on.

 

For example, a can of cola can have as much as nine cubes of sugar – more than the recommended daily limit for adults.

 

Sugars also occur naturally in foods such as fruit, vegetables and milk, but we don't need to cut down on these types of sugars. Be aware that these are included along with free sugars in the "total sugars" figure that you'll see on food labels.

 

Tips to cut down on sugars

 

For a healthy, balanced diet, cut down on food and drinks containing free sugars.

These tips can help you to cut down:

 

Reducing sugar in drinks

•Instead of sugary fizzy drinks or sugary squash, go for water, lower-fat milk, or sugar-free, diet or no-added-sugar drinks. While the amount of sugar in whole and lower-fat milk is the same, choosing lower-fat milk reduces your saturated fat intake.

•Even unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies are sugary, so limit the amount you have to no more than 150ml a day.

•If you prefer fizzy drinks, try diluting no-added-sugar squash with sparkling water.

•If you take sugar in hot drinks or add sugar to your breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether. Alternatively, switch to a sweetener.

Reducing sugar in food

•Rather than spreading high-sugar jam, marmalade, syrup, chocolate spread or honey on your toast, try a lower-fat spread, reduced-sugar jam or fruit spread, sliced banana or lower-fat cream cheese instead.

•Check nutrition labels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the reduced- or lower-sugar version.

•Try reducing the sugar you use in your recipes. It works for most things except jam, meringues and ice cream.

•Choose tins of fruit in juice rather than syrup.

•Choose unsweetened wholegrain breakfast cereals that aren't frosted, or coated with chocolate or honey.

•Choose unsweetened cereal and try adding some fruit for sweetness, which will contribute to your 5 A Day. Sliced bananas, dried fruit and berries are all good options.

 

The Be Food Smart app from Change4Life can help you check how much sugar you or your child is having. Using your smartphone, the app can scan the barcode on food packets to find out exactly how much sugar is in it.



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