How-to

Are You Sugar Smart at Home?

The truth is…

Most of us are consuming unnoticedly too much sugar than the standard, which means the risks of obesity, tooth decay and Type 2 diabetes are increasing.

Don’t you know that children aged eleven and over as well as adults should not eat more than 7.5 teaspoons of “free sugars” per day which is equivalent to roughly 30 grams.

For those who still have no idea of what “free sugars” are, you can consult the link I have added for more details and deep information, but here, I’ll take it short. Actually, they consist of any sugar added during the cooking process, by manufacturers or occurred in syrups, honey and fruit juices.

You know it, fruit juices have natural sugar which is a healthy option to eat. However, I bet rarely of you already know that in every 150ml serving counts towards your 5 a day.

Besides, they are not healthy all the time

As the released natural sugar in juices can cause tooth decay like the other kinds. So, how to eat sugar smart? How to limit such negative impacts on our body?

You should know about it

I mean sugar!

Truth to say, sugars include two major types: the free and the natural.

I’ve already defined what “free sugars” are, now is the natural. Contrast to the free, natural sugars are contained in vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains and milk.

In general, it’s in healthy foods and always be recommended to eat.

HOWEVER, kindly make it clear that once you juice the fruit, natural sugar will change into free sugar and you need to take into account of this.

Back to the very first question in the beginning, how to eat sugar smart with fruit juice? Well, the best option is sticking to one serving per day and only drink it with a meal.

In terms of free sugars, different from what mostly people think, they are contained in both savory and sweet foods, such as pizzas, ready meals, pasta sauces, breakfast cereals, flavored milk, yoghurts and table sauces.

They consist of glucose, syrups, white and brown sucrose, and fruit juices. But in general, the main source of free sugar for both adults and children is sugary drinks.

For example, in a bottle of 500ml Coca Cola, there are about 52 grams of sugar (equivalent to 13 teaspoons), which is almost as twice as the maximum intake of free sugar per day.

So now, how to adjust that?

Know your limits

Okay, first of all, you need to understand how much sugar each day is right for you. It’s obvious to say that the older you are, the higher amount you need to eat.

In the beginning, I’ve given to you a typical example of the sugar limitation in adults and children aged 11 and up. But to fulfill that age ranges, kindly have a look at this table:

Age rangeSugar limitation
2 years old13 grams (equivalent to roughly 3 teaspoons)
3 years old15 grams (equivalent to roughly 4 teaspoons)
5-6 years old19 grams (equivalent to roughly 5 teaspoons)
7-10 years old24 grams (equivalent to roughly 6 teaspoons)
11 to over30 grams (equivalent to roughly 7.5 teaspoons)

Besides, in children aged 5 years old and less, it’s essential to let them drink water or milk whenever possible whereas keep them stay away from sweet snack foods.

Checking food labels for sugar

Now, after knowing your sugar limitation to consume daily, the next step is to adjust and control their amount added to your body. And, the easiest way to do that is checking the food labels.

It’s essential to read not only the content of sugar in that food, but also other ingredients. Bear on mind that sugars come in various names.

But in general, find the words “Carbohydrates (of which sugar)” on there and also remember these formulas:

  • ≥ 22.5 grams of sugars/100 grams of product = High
  • ≤ 5 grams of sugar/100 grams of product = Low

Besides, when sugar stays as close as to the beginning of food labels, that’s a sign of its high amount contained in the product.

How to cut back sugar

Drink water or milk

It’s amazing that many people keep this bad habit day by day – drinking soft drinks whenever they’re thirsty.

I’m not just mentioning to Coca Cola or other bottled sugary drinks, but also the hot chocolates, frizzy drinks and caramel lattes.

For those who don’t know yet, in a bottle of 500ml Volvic flavoured water, there are up to 24 grams of free sugars (equivalent to 6 teaspoon). Meanwhile, in a cup of caramel lattes or hot chocolates, it’s up to 68 grams (equivalent to 17 teaspoons).

Guys, you know it, water is the healthiest and cheapest way to quench your thirst all the time. It contains no sugars, no calories to gain weight. And also, it doesn’t cause tooth decay and other diseases.

The same with fresh milk, the less sugar contained in milk, the healthier.

So, why not?

Tip: I know that many of us, especially children don’t like to drink water or less sugar milk as they taste boring. So, to add more flavors but still keep them healthy to drink, you can add some slices of orange, cucumber, lemon or herbs, whatever you or your children like into the water bottle.

This method is called detox. And in fact, it also helps a lot in purifying the body as well as losing weight, supporting to heal acne, etc. if you know the proper formulas.

Eat fruit instead of drink its juice if possible

As mentioned above, fruit contains healthy natural sugar while juice consists of free sugar. Not saying that, in fruit, there are also lactose and fructose. These two ingredients don’t increase the amount of sugar when eaten whole.

Reduce consuming free sugar

Along with increasing eating natural sugar, it’s essential to reduce the amount of free sugar in your daily meals by limiting to add them into your foods and drinks during the cooking process or at the table.

My method to swap free sugar for natural sugar is adding fresh fruit into my daily meal, especially my breakfast. For example, I usually add chopped bananas to oatmeal and porridge instead of using honey or sugar.

Also, while going to the supermarket, spend some time to read the food labels. It’s a must-do task as you can control how much amount of sugar is intake to your body as well as easily adjust it.

Take note that the similar foods but from different brands might contain different amount of sugar in there. Don’t misunderstood it!

Besides, also limit eating sweet snacks between meals, this’s not only reduce the amount of intake free sugar added to your body, but also level down the calories, which’s helpful for your health, teeth and body shape.

Okay, it’s time to get started

I know that such shared information above is a little bit not interesting at all, but it’s useful to keep you stay healthy, not only for now but also in a long run.

Apart from adjusting and controlling the amount of sugar intake, it’s also essential to take exercises regularly to strengthen your flexibility and endurance. Hopefully, this article is a good inspiration to help you healthier and fitter.

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