Our in-house Dietitian, Emily, discusses why it may be beneficial for some to reduce their sugar intake and how we can introduce more low sugar foods into our diet. Discover more here.

What is Sugar?

Sugar is naturally present in some foods such as fruit and milk, or it can be added to foods for various reasons. In this discussion, we are going to focus on this type of added sugar and explore why many of us should try to follow a low sugar diet.

Sugar can be added to some foods and drinks to improve the balance of flavour or add sweetness. It can also be used as a preservative or to add extra energy to certain foods. Foods that claim to be low in sugar are those which have 5g of total sugars or less per 100g.

As Emily explains, sugar is a type of dietary carbohydrate with starch and fibre being other types of carbohydrates. Excess sugar consumption in our diets can often lead to health issues such as dental problems, so let’s explore some of the benefits of a low sugar diet.

Why may a low sugar diet be good for me?

Public Health Nutrition Advice recommends that the daily sugar intake for an average adult should be no more than 30g of sugar a day, which is equivalent to 7 sugar cubes.

Too much added sugar in our diets can lead to poor dental health and unwanted weight gain. Trying to limit your added sugar intake can help you to maintain a healthy weight and protect your teeth against harmful decay.

What is a low sugar diet?

To follow a low sugar diet, try to avoid or limit your intake of foods that contain large amounts of added sugar.
Added sugar is present in many of the things we consume every day, such as:

  • Sweetened drinks
  • Sweet foods like cakes or biscuits
  • Some breakfast cereals
  • Sauces

Choosing low sugar foods can help you to reduce your overall daily sugar intake. Therefore, it’s a great idea to find simple ways to introduce low sugar options of the things you enjoy into your diet.
Try replacing your usual sweet snacks with a low sugar alternative, such as

  • Carrot or apple sticks
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Low sugar or natural, unsweetened yoghurts

You could also swap regular sugary drinks for sugar free options, milk or water and add sweetness to cereal with fruit instead of honey.

Whilst many of us will benefit from cutting back our sugar intake a little, it is important to remember that sugar can also be a valuable source of energy. Some people may benefit from eating sugary foods more frequently, for example if they have unintentionally lost weight recently. Ensure you always seek professional advice on your own situation.

How do I know how much sugar is in my food?

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