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Are You Sugar Aware?

Are You Sugar Aware?

Sugar has been part of our diet for thousands of years! Sugar is lurking in cakes, biscuits and all that stuff we love, but sugar is a major contributing factor of obesity in the UK. This is why we need to be more aware about the dangers of sugar and what it’s doing to our health!

Sugar is present in most food, often as a hidden ingredient appearing as a different name on the ingredients listed on food labels. Dextrose, sucrose, maltose and glucose are some of the common names of sugar. Look out for 'ose' as the end of the word, it will most likely be sugar. These names will often appear at the beginning of the ingredients list too.

Aside from the obvious places such as cakes, chocolate and sweets, sugar is added into foods you wouldn’t usually expect including sauces, bread and even flavoured water!

Sugar-related illnesses are on the rise, from heart disease, diabetes and cancer, so it’s important to recognise the dangers and to curb our sugar addiction. Action on Sugar warns that as well as being “a major cause of obesity”, there is “increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver”.

What are free sugars?

Free sugars are typically added to flavoured yoghurts, cereals, fizzy drinks, biscuits and chocolate. Naturally occurring sugars such as honey, maple syrup and nectars still count as free sugars. Natural sugars found in milk, fruit and vegetables are not regarded as free sugars but will be included in the ‘total sugar’ figure on food labels.

What’s the recommended amount?

Reference intakes on food labels are an advisory and not a goal. The maximum daily intake of total sugar for an adult is 90g, this includes natural sugars from milk and fruit, as well as added sugar.

How to cut down on sugar

  • If you have sugar in your tea or coffee, try to reduce the amount you have little by little and eventually you may be able to go cold turkey!
  • Instead of indulging in a biscuit or slice of cake with your tea, for a little of energy, go for a piece of fruit, nuts or even a bowl of plain yoghurt.
  • When baking, cut the sugar in your recipe by half.
  • Check and compare food labels and always pick the product with the lowest amount of sugar.

Sugar swaps

1. A 330ml can of cola includes 9 sugar cubes or 35g of sugar – swap for a diet cola.

2. Instead of using a shop-bought cooking sauce, make your own from scratch using fresh ingredients.

3. Ditch the granola (which is packed with sugar) go for a plain, wholegrain cereal but jazzed up with fruit or yoghurt.

4. If you really fancy a sweet dessert, instead of reaching for the cake, chocolate mousse and doughnuts, choose a reduced sugar rice pudding, sugar-free jelly or malt loaf.

Just a few simple food swaps can help you reduce your sugar intake and help improve your overall health, for more healthy food swaps, check out our blog! https://www.generalandmedical.com/live-healthy/posts/2019/june/try-these-10-healthy-food-swaps-for-a-healthier-you/

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Plus we’ll give you access to our complimentary Health and Wellbeing service, available 24/7. Support includes free mini health checks and lifestyle programmes, helping you cut down on something in particular or change your lifestyle completely. Take a look at our wide range of products available and get your quote today!

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