The subject of sugar is a contentious one. There’s no denying a diet with too much of the sweet stuff can wreak havoc on your health, but is a zero tolerance policy the way to go? We’ve asked Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Chloe McLeod, to explain the basics about this demonised ingredient.
What are the health consequences of eating too much sugar?
Weight gain, especially fat gain around the mid section, elevated blood sugar levels, overproduction of insulin, which can all lead to development of diabetes and other health conditions. Also, it is not good for our teeth.
So what is the recommended daily intake of sugar?
WHO guidelines recommend adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5 per cent or roughly 25 grams (six teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits
Is this including “natural” sugars from fruits, compared to added sugars?
Naturally occurring sugar, found in fruit and milk in particular, are not included. Sugar from fruit juice, other sugar sweetened beverages, and sugar found in honey and sweet syrups, along with any added sugar is included.
When reading food labels, how many grams of sugar should we be aiming for per serving?
Less than 1 tsp (~5g) per serve.
What are the biggest mistakes people are making when it comes to sugar?
Thinking they cant have ‘any’ and that ‘all’ sugar is evil. Eating an apple or banana is not the same as eating a chocolate bar or a bag of lollies.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health