I blogged on sugar in Feb last year, but it seems sugar is still a very hot topic.
And I'm not surprised. Sugar is a complex nutrient. Some sugars are naturally occurring in foods, while other sugars are added. Some foods that contain natural sugars (fruit, milk) & small amounts of added sugars (yoghurt) are healthy, while some foods and drinks containing added sugars are not healthy (lollies, soft drinks, cakes, biscuits).
I was interviewed this week by Karen Collier, journalist from the Herald Sun, and the interview particularly focused on the amount of sugary drinks that are out there. Here's the article.
UNSUSPECTING consumers are swigging 3000 teaspoons of sugar a year hidden in popular drinks, a study has calculated.
The shopper survey found many Australians seriously misjudge the amount of the sweet stuff in non-alcoholic beverages.
Even supposedly healthy options such as some fruit juices and iced teas are crammed with far more sugar than we realise.
Packaged juice had an average 8 1/2 teaspoons in a standard bottle - yet most people guessed three to six teaspoons.
Few knew iced teas contained seven or eight teaspoons on average.
Half thought vitamin water had less than two teaspoons, when it was actually six.
Soft drinks were highest, at up to 10 teaspoons in a single can.
New draft dietary guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council recommend Australians limit intake of foods and drinks with added sugars, and in particular, restricting sweet drinks.
The World Health Organisation says added sugars should not make up more than 10 per cent of our total energy intake.
One teaspoon equates to 4.2g of sugar. Serving sizes for the surveyed drinks were 375ml-600ml.
The Pure Profile research, commissioned by the makers of new product Flave Water, asked 1000 adults about consumption and estimated sugar content for soft drinks, iced tea, vitamin water, reconstituted juice and sport drinks.
Dietitian Jemma O'Hanlon said as well as tooth decay, sweetened drinks could contribute to weight gain and obesity.
"If people are consuming more of highly processed, sugary foods and drinks, this means they're having less of the healthy foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and dairy foods," Ms O'Hanlon said.
"You don't receive that feeling of fullness from a sugary drink, so people tend to forget that these still contribute to their daily kilojoule intake."
GET IT RIGHT
FOCUS on eating a variety of foods from the five food groups - fruit, vegetable, breads and cereal, meat and alternatives, and dairy and alternatives.
DON'T worry about the natural sugars in fresh fruit and milk, nor the small amount of added sugar in yoghurt. These foods are packed full of nutrients which makes them a good choice.
HIGHLY processed foods and fluids such as confectionery, soft drinks, cakes and biscuits are nutrient-poor yet high in kilojoules, and these should be limited.
DRINK more water as opposed to any other fluids. Water is sugar and kilojoule-free.
The bottom line with sugar is you can't go wrong if you focus on eating the 5 food groups. This means eating fruit, vegetables/legumes, wholegrain breads & cereals, lean meats/fish/poultry/eggs/nuts and dairy foods. Try to limit your intake of highly processed foods and drinks such as confectionery, soft drinks and flavoured waters, which are nutrient poor and yet kilojoule rich (and only end up on the waistline).