- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Know your sugars
Most people eat sugar throughout the day without even realizing it because sugar is added to foods that don’t even taste all that sweet, like breads, condiments, snacks, and sauces.
On average people consume 25kgs of sugar and similar quantities of sweeteners a year. In rural communities sugar intake is 7.5%, while in the urban population it is 10.3%¹. It may not seem like it now, but a high-sugar diet boosts your odds of tooth decay (bacteria in your mouth love sugar-particularly sucrose), heart and liver disease, inflammation and diabetes, not to mention weight gain. Many of us don’t know if the serving sizes we are eating are appropriate for our nutritional needs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends six teaspoons of added sugars for adults and four teaspoons for children per day. This is not the naturally occurring sugars found in milk (lactose), starches (glucose) and fruit (fructose). Although there is no specific recommendation on the amount of natural sugar you should consume a day, it’s important you learn your daily servings from each food group. You ask, how can I make the distinction between naturally occurring and added sugars when it comes to my daily intake? Let’s break it down.
Natural sugars appear in foods that contain water, fibre and various micro-nutrients – you’ll find lactose in milk and fructose in fruit. Added sugars are those that are added to foods – the most common being regular table sugar (sucrose), fruit juice concentrate/high fructose corn syrup, honey or molasses. Nestlé recommends you read food labels to be in control of how much sugar you are eating.
Sugar provides only calories and lacks other essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. If you are overweight, obese or diabetic, ditch the excess sugar.
Click on the image to download the infographic.
Reference: ¹ World Health Organisation (WHO)
Content provided by Naazneen Khan, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager at Nestlé South Africa
Click here to view her bio