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Action for Sugar holds a national Sugar Awareness Week each year, highlighting the dangers associated with too much sugar in the diet and this year is held on 8-14th November 2021.

Here are some healthy heart tips to ensure you are keeping an eye on your sugar intake!

Sugar Recommendations

  • Consuming too much sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain and becoming overweight or obese.
  • ‘Free sugars’ are sugars that are added to foods as a flavour enhancement or to act as a preservative (increasing shelf-life of products). This is the type of sugars that adults and children in the UK need to cut down on.
  • The government recommends that free sugars should not make up more than 5% of the energy you get from food and drink each day.

Age

Maximum free sugar/day

4 – 6 years

19g

7 – 10 years

24g

Adults

30g

Tips to reduce sugar intake

  • Choose products that are labelled ‘no added sugar’ or ‘no sugars’.
  • Reduce consumption of sweets treats such as cakes, biscuits, and sweets.
  • Swap out canned fruit in syrup for fresh fruit.
  • Switch sugary breakfast cereals for unsweetened cereal and add fresh fruit for sweetness.
  • Swap sugary drinks for water, sugar-free or diet alternatives.
  • Limit fruit juices and smoothies to 150ml a day.
  • Cut down on sugar in hot drinks or try adding sweetener instead.

Checking Labels

Nutritional labels can help you reduce your intake of free sugars.

“of which sugars” figure on the nutrition labels (part of the carbohydrate information) will help you understand the amount of sugar. Labels on the front of the packaging use a traffic light system to distinguish the amount of sugar in a product:

  • Red = high (more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g)
  • Amber = medium (more than 5g but less than or equal to 22.5g of sugars per 100g)
  • Green = low (less than or equal to 5g of sugar per 100g).

Ingredient list

Watch out for these names which may suggest there are added free sugars:

  • Glucose
  • Xylose
  • Treacle
  • Honey
  • Dextrose
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (palm, raw, beet, brown)
  • Cane juice
  • Fructose

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