We find sugar in a huge amount of the food and drink we eat every day, but while it’s best to avoid consuming too many ‘free sugars’ – there are some which can be more beneficial to our health.

So, would you know how to identify each?

Around 87% of adults consume too much of the type of sugar that can have a detrimental impact on health. Public Health England have calculated that, when it comes to ‘free sugars’, 4 to 6-year-old children should consume no more than 19g per day, 7 to 10-year-old children should consume no more than 24g per day, and adults should consume a maximum of 30g per day.

The Charity’s Health Improvement Lead, Dr Greg Lessons, has separated the fact from fiction when it comes to the types and amounts of sugar we can safely consume…

  • Sugar falls within one of two main categories: Non-free sugars and free sugars.
  • Non-free sugars are found naturally in milk, unsweetened yoghurt and whole (not juiced or pureed) fruits and vegetables. We should not be avoiding these foods.
  • Free sugars are found in table sugar, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream, sweets, flavoured yoghurts, many breakfast cereals, sugar-sweetened beverages, many condiments and ready-made sauces/meals, among other products. They’re also found in natural foods including honey and syrups, as well as fruit juices and smoothies.
  • Excessive intake of free sugars has been linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.
  • It is recommended that a maximum of 5% of our daily calorie intake can be from free sugars. This is very easy to exceed.

We have also gathered 5 tips to get below the maximum daily free sugars limit, which you can find on MyFFC.

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You can share some of your own top tips, or find out more on do’s and don’ts when it comes to nutrition, by registering for MyFFC and joining our Nutrition and Recipes Group here.

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