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All About Added Sugar

Sugar Sugar, Added Sugar…

Sugars are carbohydrates which are divided into two categories ”added sugars” and “naturally occurring sugars”.  

Added sugars are defined as all sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing or preparation. 

Naturally occurring sugars are those naturally present in whole foods such as lactose in milk or fructose in fruits.

There are various names and forms which added sugars can be added to food products, these include:

  • Brown sugar

  • Raw sugar

  • Caster sugar

  • Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)

  • Honey

  • High-fructose corn syrup

  • Golden syrup

  • Maple syrup

  • Corn sweetener

  • Corn syrup

  • Fruit juice concentrates

  • Molasses

  • Syrup 

Despite the large variety of names - they will all ultimately have the same effect in the body. 

While naturally occurring sugars present in whole foods such as fruits should not be of concern, it is imperative that we are mindful of the amount of added sugars we consume every day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend a limit of no more than 10% of total energy is obtained from added sugars. 

In terms of an optimal amount each day, 

Women should aim to consume no more than 24 grams of added sugars each day and 

men should aim to consume no more than 38 grams of added sugars each day.

For some perspective, one teaspoon of sugar is equivalent for 4g.


Some tips moving forward:

Ingredients list:

When looking at a food package, make sure sugar (or any of its many forms) is not listed within the first 3 ingredients of that food product. 

Nutrition panel:

When reading the nutrition panel and comparing different products, use the Per 100g table. 

A good rule of thumb is to choose an item which contains no more than 15g of added sugars per 100g. 

5g or less is the best choice

5.1 - 15g is the middle choice

anything over 15g is the most undesirable choice

Keep these factors in mind next time you’re shopping! 

If you'd like more personalised help in achieving healthy and sustainable lifestyle habits, feel free to get in touch on my booking page.


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