Sugar – Good or Bad?
by Karen Woods | 23rd Feb 2023
Sugar has received a bad reputation in recent years. The truth is that we need a certain amount in our diet to lead a healthy, balanced life, however excessive sugar consumption can have negative consequences for our health with strong links to Type 2 diabetes, Obesity and Tooth Decay.
It is recommended for the average adult to get 5% or less of their daily intake from added sugars (approximately 30g) so it is important to be mindful when making food choices.
Tips and tricks for managing your sugar intake:
- Read the Label - There are over 61 different names for sugar that can be listed as ingredients in food. This can make spotting hidden added sugar difficult when buying products at a supermarket. Rarely, food companies say simply ‘sugar’, instead some of the common names are Maltodextrin, Glucose, Dextrose, Syrups, Fruit Juice, Molasses. Remember, the closer sugar is to the beginning of the ingredients list – the more there is present in the food. Less than 5 g per 100g of sugar is required for a food to be considered ‘low sugar’.
- Choose whole fruit over fruit juices – Fruit has naturally occurring sugars in the form of fructose. Fruit also contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate. Skin on fruit such as apples, pears and berries contain fibre which slows the absorption of sugar to the blood steam, reducing spikes in blood sugar that can come with drinking fruit juice - so whole fruit is a good option for those looking for a sweet fix.
- Having as part of a balanced meal or snack – add a source of lean protein and fibre to keep you fuller for longer and more satisfied. E.g., If you usually have biscuits with your coffee as a midday snack, add some plain, low-fat Greek yoghurt and nuts. The yoghurt and nuts will help with feeling full - reducing the likelihood of going back to the biscuit tin shortly after!
- If you love fizzy drinks, start by choosing the diet versions of the drink then progressing to sparking water/soda water with some sugar free flavour drops.
- Alcohol – choose low-sugar alcohol options. Drinks like beer, cider, cocktails can contain huge amounts of sugar. One pint of cider can contain nearly your whole recommended daily allowance for sugar! Instead, opt for light beers, ciders, or clear spirits with soda water/diet mixers.
At GourmetFuel we use minimal amounts of added sugar in our meals. We also provide clear, unambiguous ingredients lists and macro nutrition summaries for each meal. If you are concerned about your sugar intake or do not know where to begin when it comes to healthy eating – speak to one of our expert nutritionists today
Amoutzopoulos B, Steer T, Roberts C, Collins D, Page P. Free and Added Sugar Consumption and Adherence to Guidelines: The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2014/15-2015/16). Nutrients. 2020 Feb 1;12(2):393. doi: 10.3390/nu12020393. PMID: 32024147; PMCID: PMC7071218.