At Seed and Sage we only use whole fruits, never added sugar, to sweeten our cakes and bites ensuring you get the whole fruit goodness, including lots of lovely fibre, not just empty calories.
You can imagine then how happy we were when we heard about the recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) changes to food labelling in the US. From July 2018 all food products sold in the US will have to adopt the new format (new FDA food labelling & nutrition requirements) including separately listing the amount of added sugar.
Added sugars are generally low in fibre and nutritional value, often described as ‘empty calories’ making it far too easy to overeat. Somewhat controversially, but in our opinion correctly, the FDA defines added sugar as: sugar (free, mono- and disaccharides) added during the processing of foods as well as sugars from honey, syrups and concentrated fruit and vegetable juices.
Where the US goes, the UK usually follows… The Carbohydrate and health report published last year by the SACN (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition), An advisory body to Public Health England and other governmental organisations, recommends the term ‘free sugars’ is adopted.
The SACN defines ‘free sugar’ as “sugars added to foods or those naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices BUT excluding lactose in milk and milk products as well as sugar naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables etc.” So all those products that are marketed as ‘free-from refined sugar’ but are full of honey / agave / date syrup / coconut sugar etc. etc. will be caught within the free / added sugar definition.
So how much added sugar is ok? The World Health Organisation (WHO) and SACN recommend free / added sugars should account for no more than 5% (or roughly 6 tsps or c.20g /adult) of your daily dietary intake – not much when you consider the average glass of orange juice contains over 20g…
So how do you go about reducing your sugar intake? Well… here are a few things you can do that we guarantee will get you well on the way to kicking your sugar habit:
Always read the label – before you pop that ready meal / ‘healthy’ snack bar / breakfast cereal into your shopping basket, take a minute to flip it over and read the ingredients - I can guarantee you’ll be putting at least half back on the shelf.
Awaken your inner domestic goddess – I know it’s sometimes hard to find the time to prepare your own meals but the more you do the less sugar you are likely to consume.
Use whole fruits to sweeten - Replace the drizzle of honey or maple syrup on your porridge with chopped dates, apples, raisins or bananas.
Dump the juice - Ever stopped to think about how much fruit and veg go into making one small glass of juice? A LOT is the answer, much more than you could possibly eat in one sitting if you ate the whole thing. Juicing removes all the fibre, essential for good health and weight management, leaving you with a relatively concentrated source of sugar. Much better to either make a smoothie using the whole fruit / veg or, even better, just eat an apple or orange!
Cut back on the booze and sugar laden mixers – tough we know but if you do we can guarantee you’ll see a difference.
As always we’d love to hear your thoughts so drop us a line.xx