Added sugars adding to your waistline

Sugar has recently been in the spotlight as ‘TOXIC.’ A little sugar is not bad for you, however, the massive quantities we are consuming today due to the added sugars in lots of our foods and beverages can have negative effects on our waistline and health. 

Sugar on its own provides no nutritional value as it has no vitamins, minerals or fibre. Sugar provides us with energy (kilojoules). Because the sweet taste of sugar is so more-ish, it’s easy to over consume, which can lead to weight gain and associated problems including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

How much sugar can I have? 

 You want to keep your added sugar intake under 12 teaspoons or 50g per day.  The less added sugar in your day, the better, particularly if you are trying to lose weight. 

 How can I keep track of my sugar intake? 

 We are talking about added sugars here. You don’t need to count the sugar in fresh fruit as there are low amounts and it’s accompanied by loads of fibre, vitamins and minerals! 

 To be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming, look on the back of packaging. You will see the grams of sugar ‘per serving.’ This will give you an idea of how many grams you are consuming – make sure you take note of how many servings are in a packet compared to how much of the packet you have consumed! 

 You can also keep track via teaspoons. 1 tsp is equal to 4g of sugar. On the label, you simply divide the grams of sugar by 4 and this will give you the number of teaspoons. E.g. if you consume 1 can of soft drink and the grams of ‘sugar per serving’ is 40g, simply divide 40g by 4 which gives you 10 teaspoons of sugar – yes that is pretty close to your 12 tsp quota!  

 How much added sugar is hidden in my food? 

 Look at the table below to see how much sugar is hidden in some popular food and drinks – see how easy it is to get to 12 tsp by consuming only couple of these! 


 Check out these healthy choc chip muffins with only 1 ½ tsp sugar (6 tsp less than the muffin you buy at a café or supermarket) and packed full of fibre! 

Choc Chip Banana Muffins 

Time: 30mins Makes: 12   

  • 1 ½ cup wholemeal self-raising flour 
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana (approx. 3 medium size) 
  • 2 eggs 
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ cup dark choc chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 1900C and line a muffin tray with muffin cups (these may need greasing with a oil spray) 
  2. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt 
  3. Lightly beat eggs then mix in oil, yoghurt, banana and vanilla 
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture then mix with a fork until JUST combined. It’s important not to over mix so your muffins are light and fluffy. 
  5. Fold through choc chips.
  6. Fill muffin cups with mixture then bake for 20-23 mins or until a skewer comes out of the middle of a muffin clean. 

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