Facts about sugar



We are constantly hearing that we eat too much sugar but people are confused. Here are some facts about sugar to help you make sense of it all.

One: If you see any of these words on an ingredients list then you are looking at “added sugar.”

Agave nectar

Evaporated cane juice

Malt syrup

Brown sugar

Maple syrup



High-fructose corn syrup

Crystalline fructose



Cane crystals

Fruit juice concentrates

Fruit juice


Cane sugar



Raw sugar

Corn sweetener

Corn syrup


Invert sugar

Two: Adults should keep their intake of added sugar below 7tsp or just under 30g/day.

Three: Food labels show the amount of carbohydrate and the amount of carbohydrate as sugar. However it can be hard to tell how much of this sugar is “free” or “added” sugar. Use this App to find out. It’s free to download here:


Four: Although fruit juice and smoothies contain free sugar you can still have one small 150 ml glass of either but not both as one of your 5/day. But no more!

Five: Naturally occurring sugar in whole fruit and milk/milk products comes with lots of other useful nutrients so there is no need to remove it from your diet. Be careful with dried fruits though as these are a very concentrated source of sugar and it’s easy to eat a large amount without realising.

Six: Some foods have very small amounts of sugar added. For example ham. If you find added sugar low down on the ingredients list and the App tells you that there is less than 1g added sugar/100g this is not really where you should be focussing your attention in terms of lowering your sugar intake. You are not trying to get every grain of added sugar out of your diet.

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