Sugar Awareness Week 2018
Date: Thursday, 15 November 2018. -
Sugar Awareness Week has been taking place from the 12th to the 18th of November, with the aim to educate people about the dangers of excessive sugar consumption and how this can be reduced.
Now we’ve said goodbye to The Great British Bake Off for another year, there is no more temptation to replicate some of the amazing bakes each week. So, we think that it is the perfect time to take a look at how you can cut down on your sugar consumption!
How much sugar should I be eating?
Could you go a day without eating sugar? A lot of people couldn’t! Figures show that every age group in the UK is consuming double the amount of sugar than they should be each day.
The NHS states that adults should have no more than 30g of ‘free sugar’ per day, which is equivalent to 7 sugar cubes. For children, this should be reduced to 24g, or 6 sugar cubes. ‘Free sugar’ is defined as any sugar that has been added to food or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer. The government recommends that free sugar should not make up more than 5% of the energy that you get from food/drink each day.
Why is sugar bad for me?
Sugar may be sweet, but one thing that you can be certain of is that it is bad for your overall health. Sadly, people who eat more sugar are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as high sugar consumption can reduce insulin sensitivity.
Sugar is also an enemy to your heart. Too much of this can cause weight gain, putting you at a higher risk of coronary heart disease than someone who is a healthy weight.
While the way in which sugar actually affects the heart is not fully recognised, there have been many connections made. For example, large amounts of sugar intake can put a strain on the liver and significantly increase your blood pressure, both of which can result in heart attacks and strokes.
Which types of food/drink does ‘free’ sugar come from?
For adults, free sugar mainly comes from soft drinks, which ultimately spurred on the sugar tax that was introduced in April 2018. This new legislation sees consumers paying 18-24p more for their drinks, depending on the sugar levels. So far, this initiative has been successful, urging manufacturers to adapt their recipes and lower the sugar content.
Sweets, cake, biscuits, cereals and alcohol were also some of the main ‘free sugar’ culprits that adults consume on a regular basis.
Whereas, for children, sweets, cakes, cereals, soft drinks and milk products were the types of food and drinks contributing to high sugar intake.
How can I reduce my sugar intake?
- We’re sorry to say it, but swapping the chocolate bars for a healthier snack option, such as fruit, unsalted nuts or oatcakes will help to reduce your sugar consumption.
- Many ready-made soups or stir-in sauces have high sugar contents, so you could consider making your own.
- When treating yourself to a takeaway, watch out for the sweet and sour or sweet chili dishes, as these generally contain vast amounts of sugar.
- Swapping to low-sugar cereals, like porridge or whole-wheat, will also assist in limiting your sugar intake.
- Nearly a quarter of the added sugar in our diets is from sugary drinks. Why not try sugar-free options instead? Or try flavouring water with fruit – a slice of lemon perhaps?
We hope that this blog has given you some food for thought and will encourage you to keep sugar consumption to a minimum.
How do you reduce your sugar intake? Let us know by tweeting us @ImpTraining.