How much sugar are you really eating?

If you have made a commitment to healthy eating, you have probably decided to reduce your sugar intake.

The World Health Organisation recommends consuming no more than 10 percent of your daily kilojoules in sugar. For a normal adult, that would be no less than 12 teaspoons.
So how much sugar are you actually eating?

Most people know that soft drinks contain lots of sugar (up to ten teaspoons!) but what about other foods that contain sugar.
Here is a list of some foods and the sugar they contain.

• Peanut butter - 1,5 teaspoons per 100g (brands do vary - check the labels).

• Tomato sauce - one dollop contains around 1 teaspoon of sugar.

• Sweetened yoghurt - some brands, including low fat brands, can contain as much as 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving.

• Sweetened kids breakfast cereal - one serving has about 4 teaspoons of sugar before you add your own.

• Canned vegetables - manufacturers add sugar to canned vegetables to improve flavour and make them last longer.

• Soups - canned soups almost always have sugar added to improve the flavour, sometimes as much as four spoonfuls.

• Health bars - nuts and dried fruit isn’t all that is contained in health bars. Many are crammed with sugar too.

• Bread - sugar is added to bread in the proving process to activate yeast. However, commercial bread can often have more sugar added for taste and freshness.

• All processed food including take-aways - Most processed foods will have sugar added to make them more appealing taste-wise and to give a longer shelf life. 

Sugar is not the direct cause of lifestyle disease as the WHO and other scientific bodies have stated. They have concluded that you are able to enjoy sugar as long as it is in moderation (10% of your daily energy). It is important that you eat a healthily and exercise.  Know what your food is made of so that you can make the healthier choice when you consume them.




In 2010, my best friend lost her mom to heart disease…I Think Red in support of my best friend.

Liezel van der Westhuizen
Feb 2012