Jun 22, 2016

Tips for lowering your sugar intake

Between 2000/2001 and 2013/2014, global sugar consumption grew from about 130 to 178 million tonnes.

Most sugary foods can be easily identified, usually labelled with terms such as ‘Luxury’, ‘Treats’ or ‘Spoil yourself’.

Maybe it’s time for governments to step in and legislate advertisers to use the truth, although ‘Treating yourself to fatigue, dental caries, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The sugar tax is a step in the right direction but they should use this money to subsidise healthy drinks and foods. It’s a crazy world that on a hot summer’s day, thirsty customers see a tasty but sugary drink half the price as water on the shelves – this should clearly be reversed.

Sometimes it’s not so obvious where sugar has been added especially as some of these foods may be advertised as healthy – reduced fat ready meals, salad dressings, yoghurt or muesli cereals.

It is worth reading the label of processed foods, such as “ready meals”, or even crisps where sugar is often added to supposedly enhance the flavour.

Some Indian restaurants add sugar to their curries – you can instruct the waiter to ask the chef to omit the sugar.

Tips to reduce sugar and carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index

Reduce or avoid:

  • Adding sugar to tea or coffee or to food during cooking
  • Processed foods, pre-packed ready meals or those labelled as ‘diet’
  • Sweet snacks: sweets, biscuits and bars
  • Cakes, sponges and muffins unless they are low sugar
  • Sweet drinks, such as cola or other fizzy drinks
  • Restaurants that add sugar to their meals
  • Processes fruit juices with the pulp removed
  • Sugary breakfast cereals especially with added sugar or honey


  • Change from white to wholemeal bread
  • Don’t eat white toast and jam for breakfast
  • Use wild rice instead of white rice
  • Eat salad and vegetables with white pasta
  • Try guinoa instead of rice or pasta
  • If you do eat cakes cut off the icing and sugary toppings
  • For treats, consider chocolate made without sugar
  • Make cakes without sugar – use fruits such as dates or banana instead
  • If you need to add something sweet – natural alternatives eg Stivia
  • For snacks, consider sticks of crunchy vegetables or nuts
  • If you are craving something sweet – dried fruit eg prunes and apricots
  • For a snack, easy-to-eat fruit such as grapes, nuts, bananas and satsumas
  • Eat the whole fruit
  • Drink blended fruit smoothies rather than juices
  • Drink water or vegetable juices

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