I have had a lot of interest on my blog about how to reduce your sugar intake to the maximum of 30g per day recommended by the NHS in the UK.
How much sugar should I eat a day?
Added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of the energy (calorie intake) you get from food and drink each day. This is about 30g of sugar a day for those aged 11 and over.
Fruit juice and honey can also count as added sugars, as they’re sometimes added to foods to make them sweeter.
Fruit juice is still a healthy choice (one 150ml serving counts towards your 5 A DAY). However, the sugars can damage your teeth, so it’s best to drink it with a meal and no more than one serving a day This is because sugars are released during the juicing process. Sugars in whole pieces of fruit are less likely to cause tooth decay because they are contained within the food.
I recommend diluting fruit juice with water to reduce the acidity and sugar intake. I find that a 30% to 50% dilution is far more refreshing than pure juice.
You shouldn’t cut down on fruit as it’s an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
My Top Tips for reducing sugar intake
- Cut out all fizzy drinks – don’t even go for the low-calorie ones, they are bad for you in different ways. Stick to water and fruit juice.
- Cut out sugar in tea and coffee – best to gradually reduce to zero.
- Don’t eat cakes and biscuits between meals
- Watch out for hidden sugar in things like baked beans, tomato sauce and cheaper types of bread.
- Wine and other alcoholic drinks can contain a lot of sugar – generally, the smoother they taste the more sugar they contain. See below.
- Sugar wasn’t always a cheap ingredient and cooks had to find natural alternative ways to sweeten food. Add the stems of Myrrhis odorata – (sweet cicely) to rhubarb to make it sweeter without adding so much sugar.
How much sugar is there in a glass of wine?
A single bottle of wine can contain your full maximum 30g daily allowance of sugar.
Finally, you’ll be pleased to know that the hardest part of reducing your sugar intake is getting started. As you reduce your intake your taste starts to change and you won’t want overly sweet food, instead you start to appreciate the more subtle flavours in your food and drink.
You may also be interested in my blog about salt, which includes a picture what 6g of salt looks like.