Ah, sugar. One moment it’s your energy-boosting friend – the next it’s your post-sugar-high crashing enemy.
We all know too much sugar isn’t good for us, and if you’ve got kids, it’s yet another thing to worry about. That’s why most of us try to keep the sugary treats to a minimum. However, a closer look at an average diet shows that there are still some sneaky sugars getting into our day-to-day.
For most of us, and certainly for kids, quitting sugar isn’t an option. But by making a few small changes you can cut down your family’s sugar intake dramatically.
The aim? To meet the World Health Organisation‘s recommendation of having no more than 10 percent of your daily kilojoules come from unnecessary or “free” sugar. “Free” sugars are any added sugars (like white, brown and raw) as well as the sugar in honey, syrups and fruit juices. Thankfully the sugar found in whole fruit does not count.
For an average adult that means consuming less than 55 grams – 13 teaspoons of “free” sugar a day. For kids, this can vary wildly based on their age, gender and how many sports they play. It’s best to keep in mind that if your child eats less than you, they should also be eating less sugar.
I made some swaps in my own life, and here’s what I found:
1. Swap: Jam and butter on white bread.
For: Natural peanut butter on wholegrain bread.
Saved: 6g sugar per serve.
Anyone whose go-to brekkie is jam on toast regrets it every day around 10am. About two hours after breakfast, you’ll be starving again and looking to the office biscuit jar to get you through until lunchtime. It’s no different for kids, who need a nutritious breakfast to get the best start to their day. The morning slump isn’t surprising when you discover two slices of bread with jam and butter or margarine adds to about 11g of sugar for very little fibre or protein to keep kids or adults fuller for longer.