There’s no sugar coating the ills of excessive sugar consumption. There’s plenty of room to reduce our intake of sugar as most processed and pre-packaged food that line the supermarket shelves already contain added sugar. But before you start scrutinising nutritional labels and analysing sugar content, it’s important to understand the difference between natural and added sugar.
What is added sugar?
Added sugar refers to sugar that is added to food or drink during manufacturing, cooking or at the table.
Added sugar are empty calories with no nutritional value
How much added sugar can you consume in a day?
Added sugar should contribute to no more than 10% of dietary energy. This translates to approximately 40-55g (8-11 teaspoons) daily for an adult.
Did you know that one Singaporean alone can consume half a kilo of sugar from sugary drinks in a month?
How much sugar content in food constitutes low or high sugar?
Low = <5g sugar per 100ml
Medium = 5-10g sugar per 100ml
High = >15g sugar per 100ml
Added vs naturally occuring sugars
Many foods such as dairy, fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans contain naturally occurring sugars. In fruit, they are known as fructose. In dairy, they occur in lactose.
Unlike added sugar that have no nutritional value, natural sugar in whole foods come with vitamins, minerals and fibre that are highly beneficial and essential to our body.
It’s important to reduce added sugar and read food labels when it comes to processed foods. But rather than obsess over food labels, eat as much natural whole foods as possible then you won’t have to fuss over what’s in your food.
5 tips when choosing juice
1. Drink 100% freshly pressed juice. No sugar added and not from concentrate. Freshly pressed juice contains the beneficial vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. These nutrients are heat-sensitve and lost during pastuerisation.
2. Have a smoothie. It retains the pulp and skin of the fruit and vegetable, hence it’s higher in fibre and more satiating.
3. Go green. Mix vegetables with your fruit juice, vegetables have lower sugar content. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to mask the taste of veggies.
4. Add healthy fats. Add chopped walnuts or blend with nut milk to slow the absorption of the sugars.
5. Portion control – Moderation is key. Consume juice mindfully, don’t drink it like you would water. The majority of your daily fruit & vegetable intake should still come from whole fruit and vegetables.
Our low sugar picks
5g or less sugar (per 250ml)
9g or less sugar (per 250ml)