22-28 August is Sugar Smart Week, so we though this would be a perfect opportunity to remind everyone of consequences of having too much sugar and the importance of limiting its intake.

On average Aussies consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar daily, with teenagers consuming more than 20! World Health Organisation recommends to limit added sugar to 6 teaspoons a day.

Eating too much sugar can predispose to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Obesity
  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • dementia
  • mental health
  • fatty liver disease

Poor diet high in refined sugars can also affect children’s brain development, sleep and ability to learn.

Added sugar is found (and often hidden) in most packaged foods, ranging from the obvious cakes, biscuits, lollies and chocolates, to seemingly-healthy protein bars and drinks, savoury crackers, sauces and condiments. Sugar can often be present in the form of 56 different varieties, including:

  • maltodextrin
  • dextrose
  • corn syrup
  • fructose
  • malt
  • glucose syrup
  • golden syrup

So what are good substitutes for refined sugar? You may want to consider products containing more natural sweeteners such as:

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • fruit purees or applesauce

What else can you do to cut down on your sugar intake?

  • Have fresh fruit instead of dried fruit/ bars/balls/rollups etc.
  • Pick plain crackers over flavoured ones (chicken flavour has the most amount of sugar added!)
  • Use a home-made sauce using natural ingredients and herbs/spices instead of a packaged variety
  • Swap sports drinks for water

So next time you are in a supermarket check that food label and make the right choice to cut down your sugar intake!