Key Facts: Sugar

  • Sugar is a form of carbohydrate – it gives a quick burst of energy;
  • The calories it gives us are "empty calories", there is nothing in them that does us any good;
  • Sugar can cause teeth to go bad and too much sugar can make us overweight;
  • Added sugar is hidden in lots of food e.g. ready meals, cereals, bread, baked beans, the chart below shows the recommended maximum intake of added sugar (from Change 4 Life);


  • Sugar can occur naturally in food (fruit, vegetables, milk) so we don’t need to cut down on this type. It is not added sugar.
  • Other names of sugar are sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, hydrolysed starch and invert sugar, corn syrup and honey;
  • Check ingredients on labels to see whether the food is high in added sugars;
  • Anything over 15 grams per 100 grams is high. Between 5 grams and 15 grams per 100 grams is medium.  Healthier options have 5 grams per 100 grams or less.
  • Change 4 Life have launched a free Sugar Smart app - you download the app and scan barcodes to reveal how much sugar is in your favourite food and drink. For a great illustration have a look at this video

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