• Posted by CERC India
  • Posted in

How to avoid hidden sugar

Some experts believe it’s the sugar rather than the fat in our diets that’s contributing to the obesity epidemic. Here’s how to spot the ‘hidden’ sugar you may not know you’re eating.

Sugar may be sneaking up on you. We expect to find sugar in the sweets we eat and soft drinks we consume, but sugar also makes an appearance in some unexpected places. One slice of white bread, for example, contains three teaspoons of sugar! So many processed foods – cereals, bread, pasta sauce, flavoured yoghurt, ketchup, peanut butter, energy bars, canned fruit, instant noodles and soups contain sugar. Sugar goes by many names and often hides in so-called health and diet foods.

Daily allowance

Some sugars occur in foods naturally, like lactose found in milk and fructose in fruit. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), “added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.”

The new recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) are that only 5% of your daily calorie intake should consist of added or ‘free’ sugars. This equates to approximately five-six teaspoons (25g) for women and seven-eight teaspoons (35g) for men.

How to cut down

  • Avoid low-fat ‘diet’ foods. Instead, have smaller portions of the regular versions. Low-fat and ‘diet’ foods often contain extra sugar to help improve their taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture in the place of fat.
  • Reduce the sugar in recipes and add spices to boost flavour and taste. For instance, reduce the sugar you add to hot drinks. Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to cappuccino or hot chocolate.
  • Be wary of ‘sugar-free’ foods. These often contain synthetic sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. Although these taste sweet, they don’t help curb a sweet tooth so they tend to send confusing messages to the brain, which can lead to overeating.
  • Watch your consumption of fruits as well as the natural sugar in some fruits, including apples, has increased as new varieties are bred to satisfy our desire for greater sweetness.
  • Look at the ‘carbs as sugars’ on the nutrition panel before buying a product- this includes both natural and added sugars; less than 5g per 100g is good, more than 15g per 100g is high.
  • Check the ingredients list before purchase for anything ending in ‘ose’ (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) – these are all forms of sugar, as are honey, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup and fruit juice concentrates.
  • Stop consuming soft drinks and stick to one glass of fruit juice a day (or dilute it).


Subscribe to Newsletter
SIGN UP for the Newsletter.
Exclusive from Consumer Education and Research Centre!
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
"A placerat mauris placerat et penatibus porta aliquet sed dapibus, pulvinar urna cum aliquet arcu lectus sed tortor aliquet sed dapibus."
John Doe, Astronomer
Bubble Company Inc. © 2011-2014