Cut down on sugar – especially free sugars

Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush is campaigning to raise awareness of sugar in fizzy pop.

The Great British Bakeoff     asked contestants to make sugar free cakes but they added agave syrup and honey instead – which are counted as free sugars.

bake offBetter way to use fruit and vegetables such as carrots and apples. Dr Sally Norton said:

‘That way we will appreciate the more subtle sweetness of fruit, veg, and reduce our risk of health problems and dental decay.’

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)

  • High levels of sugar consumption are linked with a greater risk of tooth decay.
  • The higher the proportion of sugar in the diet, the greater the risk of high energy intake.
  • Drinking high-sugar beverages results in weight gain and increases in BMI in teenagers and children.
  • Consuming too many high-sugar beverages increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Added sugar should not make up more than 5% of total energy.This around 30g of sugar a day.

In UK children aged 11-18 years are getting 15% of daily calories from added sugar.

Food label
>22.5g/100g total sugars is high

<5g/100g total sugars is low.

The drinks with up TWENTY teaspoons of sugar – Daily Mail article

Sugar in drinks

 

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends that:

Free sugars should account for no more than 5% daily dietary energy intake.

The term free sugars is adopted, replacing the terms Non Milk Extrinsic Sugars (NMES) and added sugars ( sucrose (table sugar),fructose, glucose). Free sugars are those added to food or those naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices, but exclude lactose in milk and milk products. It does not include the sugars naturally present in intact fruit and vegetables and dairy products.

  • 19g or 5 sugar cubes for children aged 4 to 6,
  • 24g or 6 sugar cubes for children aged 7 to 10,
  • 30g or 7 sugar cubes for 11 years and over
“Cut down on sugars, increase fibre and we’ll all have a better chance of living longer, healthier lives.”

FREE SUGARS INCLUDE:

  • Table sugar (sugar cane/ beet/other sources)
  • Golden Syrup
  • Molasses or Treacle
  • Agave syrup
  • Rice malt syrup
  • Coconut blossom syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened fruit juice
  • **Any other sort of syrup that I have failed to mention typically used as a sugar replacer that contains sugar in the food label!

WHAT DOESN’T COUNT AS FREE SUGARS?

  • Lactose in milk and dairy products
  • Sugar naturally present in fruit, including dried, canned and stewed
  • Sugar naturally present in vegetables
  • Sugar naturally present in grains and cereals

FOOD LABELLING OF FREE SUGARS

At the moment food labels here in the UK only account for total sugar, not free sugars. This can make it difficult to distinguish the difference between sugars naturally present in a food and those with sugar added. Hopefully in future this will change and this report will result in changes made to food labelling laws to incorporate added sugars to help consumers make informed choices. Until this happens, look at the ingredients list to see whether there are sugars added to a particular food product. The higher up the list, the bigger the proportion as ingredients are listed in order of quantity.

Good website to use

The current recommendation that starchy carbohydrates, wholegrain where possible, should form 50% of daily calorie intake is maintained
Fibre
Those aged 16 and over increase their intake of fibre to 30g a day, 25g for 11-to 15 year olds, 20g for 5 to 11 year olds and 15g for 2 to 5 year olds.
Free sugar should be reduced to 5% of daily calorie intake to improve and protect health.

New evidence has led SACN to propose broadening the definition of dietary fibre currently used in the UK. SACN is proposing that adults should consume 30g fibre/day measured according to the new definition.

The proposed new definition of fibre encompasses all carbohydrates that are naturally integrated components of foods and that are neither digested nor absorbed in the small intestine and have a degree of polymerisation of three or more monomeric units, plus lignin
30g of fibre a day by eating five portions of fruit and vegetables, two slices of wholemeal bread, a portion of high fibre breakfast cereal, a baked potato and a portion of whole wheat pasta.
 agaveAgave comes from the cactus and is 1.5 times sweeter than sugar. It has a low glycaemic index so doesn’t cause energy spikes. It’s 90% fructose which is metabolised by the liver and converted to fat. It can lead to insulin resistance.

 

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