How to reduce your sugar intake
Minimise your sugar intake
When it comes to sugar, it’s not about cutting it out completely, it’s about making the healthiest choice. “Foods high in added sugars, such as soft drinks, confectionery, biscuits and cakes, lack essential nutrients and are being eaten at the expense of healthy, whole foods,” says Program & Nutrition Manager, Nour Nazha. In fact, Aussies now consume one-third of their kilojoule intake from ‘extra’ foods opposed to ones that are essential to health, such as fruit, vegies, dairy, wholegrains and protein. So, how do we get the balance back?
Check for added sugar
“The key is to cut back on extra foods and keep a check on added sugar,” says Nazha. “Read the ingredients to see if a food contains sugar or an alternative – honey, maltose, sucrose or glucose syrup – added to it.” To figure out sugar content, look at the nutritional panel and divide the grams of sugar by four – that’s how many teaspoons are in there.”
“Just remember that the quantity of sugar listed is the naturally occurring and the added sugar combined,” says Nazha. “Milk contains naturally occurring sugars called lactose and fruit has fructose, so you need to apply some common sense when reading the sugar content per serve.”
Try these smart swaps and you’ll be helping to cut back unnecessary added sugar in your diet.
Our verdict on juicing
"We encourage our members to have at least five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit per day,” says Nazha. “But fruit and vegetables that are juiced or used in a smoothie contribute to daily SmartPoints® .” There are a number of reasons for this, she explains. “Juicing often removes the fibre from fruit and vegetables, and concentrates the natural sugars and kilojoule content. Therefore, relative to fresh fruit and vegetables, juices have a higher energy density.” Plus, when you eat one green apple as a snack, you often feel satisfied, but you may need five or six apples to make a juice – and it can be consumed quickly! Even “healthy” green smoothies or juices contain a high number of kilojoules or SmartPoints. Check the ingredients and be aware of what you’re drinking.