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Sep 16, 2015

How Much Sugar Should You Eat?


Hlasujte za môj blog v ankete Bloger roka 2017

Many of you will know that the most common piece of advice I give is for people to cut down the amount of sugar in their diet. The question that I get from people is how much sugar should they have in their diet and how much sugar is too much?

Natural Sugar and Added Sugar

The first thing that people need to understand is that there are two main types of sugar in their diet. The first type of sugar is natural sugar. This is sugar that is naturally found in food like fruit and vegetables. The second type of sugar is added sugar and that is sugar that is added to food (or drinks!) when it is produced (like in cakes, biscuits or sauces) or when you eat the food (when you add sugar to salads, fruit, tea or coffee).

Why does it matter?

The reason that it is important is because when you eat natural sugars you are getting lots of good nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fibre and water at the same time. When you eat added sugars you get no extra nutrients with it. All you get with empty sugars is extra calories. When you eat natural sugars you are getting lots of nutrients that your body needs. When you eat added sugar you are not giving your body anything that it needs. This is why it is added sugars that you should be cutting from your diet.

How much added sugar should you have?

The best answer is none. This is because added sugar is not giving you anything you need. However I know this isn't possible so the maximum amount of added sugar that people should have in a day is between 25-35g (about 6-8 teaspoons). This may sound like alot but there are 39g of added sugar in one can of Coca Cola. As you can you can see this quickly adds up and is the main reason why the average person has over 70g of added sugar a day!

How to avoid added sugar?

The easiest way to cut out added sugar is to be careful about what you drink. Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices and flavoured waters are all full of added sugar. Also be careful of adding sugar to tea or coffee. Start drinking plain water (or ifyou want some flavour try adding cucumber, lime or lemon to it). The next thing to do is to cut down the number of processed foods you eat (like cakes, biscuits and flavoure yoghurts). Eat foods that have very little processing and have few added ingredients.

Why is this important?

Added sugar is probably the biggest cause of obesity and all the associated health problems (like diabetes). The average person has over 70g of added sugar a day. This is nearly 300 calories. If you are trying to lose weight this is the simplest way to cut calories from your diet. For example imagine that you drink two cans of fizzy drink a day. This is equal to about 300 calories and nearly 80g of added sugar. Now if you swap those two cans of fizzy drink for water you have cut 300 calories from your diet! If you want to make a change to a healthy lifestyle then start by cutting added sugars from your diet. It is the simplest change that anyone can do and it may be the healthiest choice you ever made.


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