Everything You Need To Know About Sugar!

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Sugars can be found in most foods and the type of sugar most people in the UK are eating too much “free sugars”. These are sugars that are added to any foods such as biscuits or chocolate, also sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juices that occur naturally but they are still classed as free sugars. Eating too much sugar can make you gain weight and can cause tooth decay. Therefore, consuming sugar in excess can lead to further problems with your cardiovascular health so having them in moderation is particularly important.

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The guidelines set by the government on how much sugar people should have state that adults should have no more than 30g a day, children aged 7-10 should have no more than 24g and children aged 4-6 shouldn’t be having more than 19g a day. There isn’t a guideline limit for children under the age of 4 however it is recommended they avoid food with sugar added to it and sugar sweetened drinks. Tooth decay is becoming more frequent in children so definitely reducing the amount of sugar can help with this.

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Reducing sugar in food can help to decrease the amount you have daily so here are some tips that can help you. Ensure that you are always checking the nutrition labels on food and go for the low/reduced sugar versions. When getting tinned fruit choose ones in juice rather than syrup and choose cereals that are not frosted or coated with chocolate or honey so try getting wholegrain cereals. When cooking or baking try to use less sugar in your recipes and when shopping for spreads such as jams, go for the reduced sugar ones as jam is one of the products that contains a lot of sugar.

Sugary drinks are available everywhere and the amount of sugar in them is high so when deciding what to get, go for sugar free or diet versions. Whilst the amount of sugar in whole and lower milk fat is the same, opting for lower fat reduces your saturated fat intake which benefits your heart health. Juices can still contain lots of sugar and they are good for your health however limit the amount you have a day to 150ml, if you prefer fizzy drinks try diluting sparkling water with no added sugar squash. Consuming too much sugar can lead to an increase in calories resulting in weight gain, this therefore can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancers. So, for a more balanced diet we should try to get our calories from other kinds of foods.

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