SICKLY SWEET: Part 6

How can I calculate the amount of sugar in food? 

Easy. Sugar is listed in the nutritional information label of most forms of packaged food. See red circle below of ‘Just Right’ breakfast cereal.

The first column indicates the amount of sugar (measured by weight in grams) the food contains for each serving size. In this case 12.9 grams (blue circle). To convert this to teaspoons simply divide by 4 = 3.25 teaspoons. If you stick to the serving size of three quarters of a metric cup, (purple circle) your consumption will be just over 3 teaspoons of sugar. If you have twice the serving size, in this case, 90 grams (2 x 45 grams or 1 and a half cups) your consumption is now 6 teaspoons. The ‘per 100g’ column tells us the percentage of sugar in the food. In this case, 29g per 100g (green circle) or 29% of the food you are about to consume is sugar (scary hey?).

How can I check if there is too much sugar?

As a rule, if the quantity per serving value (green circle) is OVER 5 Grams Per 100 GRAMS it’s too much. The challenge is to find any packaged food which is under 5 grams per 100 grams! This is why sugar should have a scarce role in our everyday food supply.

What about added sugar?

If sugar is added to food it must say so in the list of ingredients. Obviously this only pertains to packaged food as I haven’t yet see a list of ingredients printed on the side of bananas! With take away food, the list of ingredients will be displayed somewhere in the premises or maybe in a brochure somewhere on the counter. Ingredients are listed in order of weight. In the example below wholegrain wheat is the main ingredient followed by sugar followed by salt etc.  Remember, there are over 50 other names for sugar that my also be listed in the ingredient list as well.  If this happens, my advice is to put the packet back on the shelf.