Don’t sugar coat it!

The World Health Organisation recently released revised guidelines on how much sugar people should eat and the recommendations come as no surprise: we need to eat less sugar! The guidelines refer to free sugar that is added to food, like the sugar found in processed foods and the kind you add to your cup of coffee, not the sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables.


According to the recommendations, adults and children should reduce their daily intake offree sugarsto less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake. They further state that reducing sugar intake to below 5 per cent (or 25g or 6 teaspoons per day) would provide additional health benefits.


Diabetes Queensland dietitian Michelle Tong said the average Australian currently consumes upwards of 40 teaspoons of added sugar each day!


Keeping your intake of free sugars down reduces your risk of becoming overweight and obese, which in-turn reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.


Hidden Sugars




Most of us know many 'extras foods and drinks' contain high amounts of sugar.  But large amounts of sugar can also be hidden in processed foods. Let's have a closer look…


Food / beverage

Teaspoons of sugar

600 ml sugary drink

16 teaspoons

1 glass cordial

4 teaspoons

1 cup breakfast cereal

3 teaspoons

1 muesli bar

1 ½ teaspoons

1 medium choc chip muffin

8 teaspoons

2 cream biscuits

3 teaspoons

½ cup honey soy marinade

10 teaspoons

1 tablespoon of tomato sauce

1 teaspoon


How can you reduce you sugar intake?

Aim for a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar each day (one teaspoon of sugar equates to 4 grams). Michelle says eating less processed foods will keep your intake of free sugars down.  If you're craving something sweet reach for a piece of fruit.


"Eating regular meals rich in wholegrain breads and cereals, lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes and milk, yoghurt and cheese, should curb your sugar cravings because they will keep you fuller for longer," Michelle said.


"Sugar is important to consider but is only one small part of a healthy diet."