7 quick ways to curb your sugar intake

01 April 2016 | Healthy living

Eating too many sugary foods can lead to weight gain, which increases the risk of cancer. Take a look at 7 simple tips to cut down on sugar.

Whether it’s revelations about the shocking amount in certain food or drink, or the sugar tax, it’s hard to get away from all the headlines about sugar.

What’s clear is that most of us are eating too much sugar – mainly added sugars found in foods such as sweets, chocolate, soft drinks and fruit juice.

How much is too much?

Added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of your daily calorie intake. For those aged 11 and over, that’s about 30g of sugar, or 7 teaspoons. It might sound like a lot, but when you consider that a glucose energy drink can have 17 teaspoons of sugar or a seemingly healthy yoghurt with fruit compote can have nearly 4 teaspoons, it’s not hard to see how easy it is to go over this amount.

Making the cut

Cutting down on sugar doesn’t have to mean making major changes. Here are a few quick ways you can start cutting your sugar intake and eating more healthily, without overhauling your diet:

  1. Breakfast fix – if you have cereal or muesli, try to choose plain versions without added sugar. Rather than adding honey or sugar to porridge, why not use fruit like banana for added sweetness?
  2. Can it – if you buy tinned foods, an easy win is to look out for lower sugar options such as reduced sugar baked beans or tinned fruit in juice rather than syrup.
  3. Portion up – opting for smaller portions of sugary foods such as mini chocolate bars or cake will cut down the amount of sugar you eat.
  4. Yoghurt swaps – some yoghurts can be surprisingly high in sugar. A delicious alternative is to choose plain and natural yoghurt varieties topped with fresh/frozen berries.
  5. Coffee o’clock – if you add sugar to your tea or coffee, try gradually reducing the amount you use. You'll be surprised how quickly your taste buds will adjust.
  6. Rethink drinks – rather than sugary soft drinks or smoothies, choose diet soft drinks or water more often.
  7. Dessert for two – if you’re having dessert, why not share it? You’ll be halving the amount of sugar you eat and the calories too!
Sharon Hui | 01 April 2016