Just how much sugar are we consuming each day?

Sugar occurs naturally in foods like fruits, honey and milk, but it’s also added to foods like chocolate, ready meals and soft drinks. For example, a can of coke contains about 33g of added sugar. It’s this so-called ‘added sugar’ we should avoid, according to the World Health Organisation, because it harms our teeth and make us more likely to be obese. Ideally, men should eat no more than 36g of added sugar per day, whereas the limit for women is only 25g.

Why do food companies add sugar to their foods? Well, it’s simply to improve their taste. A lot of low-fat foods, for example, often have added sugar to boost their otherwise bland flavour. The problem is that the amount of added sugar in foods isn’t always obvious, because sugar is often added to some surprising places. In this article we’ll reveal the top five foods containing hidden sugar.

Added sugar in salad dressing

If you think salads are the healthy choice, then think again. Depending on the salad dressing, you could be eating up to 7g of sugar per serving of dressing alone. Sweet dressings like some French dressings are the worst culprits, whereas olive oil and vinegar contain little to no added sugar so are therefore the healthier options.

Added sugar in bread

Believe it or not, that innocent load of bread on your kitchen counter could contain more sugar than the WHO’s recommended daily allowance. This is because a single slice of bread can contain up to 2g of sugar. So if you eat a couple of sandwiches a day, you might already be a third of your way towards your daily added sugar limit. What’s more, bread also tends to get trapped easily between teeth, so remember to floss at night!

Added sugar in yogurts

Although yogurts are marketed as healthy, some are very high in added sugar. Flavoured yogurts are usually the worst offenders. For example, a 227g container of a fruit-flavoured yogurt (a typical supermarket size) contains around 40g of sugar. Opt for plain or Greek yogurts instead, which tend to have very few extra ingredients added to them. Also, always check the nutrition label to be sure of how much sugar the yogurt contains.

Added sugar in drinks

Added sugar in drinks

Drinks are often incredibly deceptive when it comes to sugar content, Lucozade sports drink has same sugar as two Walls Magnum Ice Creams and an orange juice can contain as much sugar as 13 biscuits.

Sugar in alcohol

We believe that the worst offender for hidden sugar is… alcohol! That’s because alcohol manufacturers aren’t obliged to disclose the sugar content on their drinks’ packaging, unlike food manufacturers. So that means you can’t tell how much sugar is in a bottle of alcohol just by looking at the packaging. Here’s the lowdown – one pint of cider or a double measure of sherry can both contain up to 20g of sugar, and some cocktails, such as a Pina Colada, contain a whopping 26 grams of added sugar. If you drink just a few of these on a night out, then you’ll already be way over your daily added sugar limit. It’s best to stick to drinks like beer, wine, champagne, gin, whiskey and rum instead, as these are very low in sugar.

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