Go Sugar Smart this September!

There’s still time to join in with SUGAR SMART September and try to reduce the amount of free sugar you eat this month.

“Free” sugar is any sugar that is added to foods at home or by the producer, plus sugar naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices. It does not include sugar naturally present in milk or whole fruit and vegetables.

Read on for some ideas and don’t forget you can contribute to our national campaign by registering your organisation up at www.sugarsmartuk.org or telling us what you’re doing on Facebook or Twitter

No Spoons Option – Completely cut out added sugar from your diet for the whole of September!

Healthy Balance Option – Completely avoid added sugar during weekdays, with moderate treats only during weekends.

Super Seven Option – Eat less than the maximum recommended 7 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  This is a good option to get started on for long term Sugar Smart eating.

Easing In Option – Cut out added sugar during working hours – particularly suited to those office workers who are tempted daily by office treats!

Set your own Challenge – Do you have your own idea for a challenge? Ditching fizzy drinks or cooking from scratch to avoid hidden sugars in popular foods? Set your goal and let us know.

Guidelines

SUGAR SMART September involves avoiding “added sugar”, including:

  • All processed sugar that is added to prepared foods e.g. cereals, soups, sauces, biscuits, chocolate, ready meals, cereal bars
  • Honey and syrups
  • Alcohol which has had sugar added to it e.g. fruit ciders, alco-pops

In SUGAR SMART September you can eat:

  • Sugars found naturally in carbohydrates, including fruit, vegetables and starchy carbohydrates.
  • Sugars found naturally in dairy products
  • Artificial sweeteners (in moderate amounts)
  • Alcohol which has not had sugar added to it after the initial processing

Tips for Being Sugar Smart

Know your labels:

  • Check the ingredients list for added sugar – the nearer the top of the list it is, the more the product contains. There are lots of names for added sugar you may find in ingredients lists: sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, fruit juice, molasses, hydrolysed starch, invert sugar, corn syrup, honey
  • If a product has more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g, it is high in sugar. Traffic light labelling can make this easier to spot, or you can download the Be Food Smart App: nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/be-food-smart
  • Watch out for breakfast cereals as they are often high in sugar. Try low sugar versions sugar as plain porridge, no added sugar muesli or shredded wholegrain pillows and add fruit if you prefer it sweeter.
  • Watch out for “fruit juice drinks” and smoothies that contain added sugar
  • Be aware of “low fat” products, as these may contain large amounts of added sugar.