Many people believe that if a product contains no added or refined sugar, it means it will have less sugar or low sugar content compared to other products. Natural sugars provide benefits such as additional antioxidants and, when eaten in fruit combined to fibre compared to that of refined sugar. However, the metabolism of both refined and natural sugars when not combined to fibre are very similarly digested. This means that quantity should be measured carefully in all foods with high level of sugar, both refined and natural with natural preferably coming from whole fruits.

For this reason, the daily sugar target is to stay under 30gr of sugar per day.

How best can we identify products high in sugars?

First and foremost, check the label. Statements such as “No added sugar or only contains natural sugars” generally means no added sucrose (table sugar) has been added.

But that’s only one type of sugar. Other types of sugar include fructose, maltose, glucose, dextrose, honey, treacle, maple syrup, molasses, golden syrup, raw sugar and concentrated fruit juice – these don’t necessarily need to be disclosed as no added sugar by manufacturers but still have the same effect on the body as other sugar.

Natural sugars– these can sometimes have fewer calories than added sugars, but they still have the same risks for your teeth (decay)

Reduced sugar– It contains at least 25% less sugar than the normal version – but if the normal version is very high sugar, this may still be high in sugar.

Low sugar– It contains no more than 5g of sugar per 100g of the product

Guidance for reading packaging

Check total sugar Less than 5g per 100g No More than 22.5g per 100g

If you would like further nutrition advise or a programme tailored to your needs, then contact us today to book your initial consultation with our in-house nutritionist. Call 01732 451979 or contact us by clicking here.