Sugar is a hot topic at the moment. I’m sure you’ve seen all the attention it has been receiving in the press following new guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Their recommendations state that our daily sugar intake should be less than 10% of our daily total energy intake; however, they strongly recommend that we aim for less than 5%.
This means that each day your daily sugar intake should not exceed more than 25g (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day.
If you already have a low sugar diet this may sound like a very achievable target. However this includes sugar that is found in soft drinks, fruit juice, jam, syrup, honey and fruit concentrate – it is any sugar that is added to a food during manufacturing, cooking or preparation.
So what does 1 teaspoon of sugar look like?
So you can see how having a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast with a glass of orange juice followed by a salad for lunch with salad dressing and a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise for dinner quickly takes you to 10 teaspoons. Add yoghurt and a cereal bar as snacks between your meals and before you know it you have consumed 16.5 teaspoons of sugar!
Do you adds sugar to your tea and coffee, have a constant craving for chocolate and feel that a meal is not complete unless it is ended with a little dessert – you are not alone. The average Australian consumes 27 teaspoons of sugar per day or 192 teaspoons a week – a higher quantity per capita than in the US, UK and Canada.
Here are a few tips to help you cut down slowly to prevent feeling deprived:
Firstly – don’t go cold turkey, this will leave you feeling deprived, miserable and you’ll fall off the wagon pretty quick. Rather aim to cut down slowly, tackling one meal/bad habit at a time. And give yourself time – it will be tough in the beginning but your taste buds and your body will adjust to the change.
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