Sugar may be public enemy number one at the moment, but before we throw the baby out with the bath water, let’s make very clear that it is ‘added sugars’ or ‘free sugars’ that we want to reduce from out diet to promote good health, while naturally occurring sugars can be enjoyed while trying to lose baby weight as a part of a well-balanced diet that promotes good health.
‘Free sugars’ are those which have been added to foods during processing, cooking and preparation, while naturally occurring sugars are found within whole foods such as fruits and come with the additional benefits of a range of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre in substantial amounts.
It is important to be clear here that honey, maple syrup, agar nectar etc. are still considered ‘free sugars’ even though they are ‘naturally occurring’ as they are not foods typically eaten on their own but rather added to foods we are preparing.
Now here is where things get even trickier. Foods such as yoghurt and fruit juice contain naturally occurring sugar but more than likely also contain ‘added sugar.’ So how do you know if the sugar in a product is naturally occurring or ‘added?’
healthy low sugar recipes
Unfortunately in Australia ‘added/free sugar’ doesn’t have to be listed on the Nutrient Information Panel (NIP) of products, but rather a figure for total sugar (added/free sugar + naturally occurring sugar) is listed. It is required however, that any added sugar be identified in the products ingredients list, remembering that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight so the higher on the list an ingredient is placed, the more of it that is contained within the product.
To add to the confusion further, added sugar might be listed under the names: Sucrose, Mannitol, Golden syrup, Maltose, Sorbitol, Raw sugar, Lactose, Xylitol, Brown sugar, Dextrose, Palm Sugar, Cane sugar, Coconut sugar, Agar syrup/nectar, Rice malt syrup, Fructose, Treacle, Molasses, Glucose/ syrup, Honey, Malt, “Modified carbohydrate,” Corn Syrup, Fruit juice extract and more!
Now here is where we get back to the NIP to work out how much of the sugar in the product is added and how much is naturally occurring.
To keep it simple:

  • For a product with no fruit (as a source of naturally occurring sugar) then we should aim for products that have 5g of sugar per 100g or less (5%).
  • If the product does contain fruit (such as dried fruit, fruit pieces or purees) than up to 15g of sugar per 100g is acceptable (15%).
  • In the case of yoghurt we know there is roughly 4g – 6g of naturally occurring sugar from lactose (depending on the fat content) per 100g, so any sugar above this level is coming from another source.

As far as front of pack claims go:

  • If a product claims to be ‘Reduced Sugar’ it must contain 25% less sugar than the original or similar product.
  • A ‘Low Sugar‘ label means the product must contain less than 5g of sugar per 100g for food or 2.5g per 100g for beverages.
  • No Added Sugar‘ claims can be applied to products that contain no added sugar but they may still be high in naturally occurring sugars such as in fruit.

Nikki Boswell, Nutritionist

Healthy Mummy blog signatureEvery month on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, we run a BRAND NEW 28 Day Menu with a different theme so you NEVER get bored!
Next months theme is the WINTER! – Perfect for the chilly weather, SUPER easy to whip up and still just as healthy.
If you are curious about the 28 Day Challenge recipes then we have a 28 Day Challenge recipe pack for you to try HERE.  1605_THM_BA_FBMREC_JulyWinterSamplerAd2
Find a delicious range of healthy recipes, packed full of energy boosting ingredients and nutrients together with easy to achieve exercise.

About the 28 Day Challenge

A few key things to note are:

  • The Challenge menu is FULLY customisable
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For a limited time, we are offering you a HUGE DISCOUNT on the lifetime membership discount on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – you can see this awesome offer here.

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Samara lost 15kgs* on our 28 day weight loss challenge
Weight Loss Results

Samara says:  “I have lost 12kgs on the Healthy Mummy plans and smoothies! The Healthy Mummy has helped me to take control of what I can. I am getting happier and more confident with each passing day! I’m not at my goal weight yet – my body has hit the pause button – but I will not give up.  My advice – start TODAY! Don’t wait for next week or Monday, start your journey today. You will thank yourself in a week, a month, a year!
If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got! Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end”

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