Tuesday 17 January 2017

Beware - fruit juice counts as free sugars

Published 16/06/2015 | 02:30

Fruit juices can be high in sugar.
Fruit juices can be high in sugar.

We are now being advised to dramatically reduce the "free sugars" in our diet - no mean sacrifice for our famous Irish sweet tooth - by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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These include sugar added to food but also that naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. It recommends that less than 10pc of our daily calorie intake should come from free sugars, equivalent to around 12 level teaspoons.

More people are looking at products that have the label "no added sugar" or "100pc natural sugar", but beware as these claims do not necessarily mean the product is low in sugar, according to Healthyfood magazine.

Honey, fruit juice, agave syrup, rice malt syrup and maple syrup, which count as free sugars, can actually mean the product is high in sugar.

The advice is to always check the "of which sugars" value on nutrition panels. If a food contains less than 5g sugar per 100g, and a drink less than 2.5g sugar per 100ml, you can be assured it is low in sugar.

This usually means that the food has not had sugar added to it as an ingredient.

A food that has "no added sugar" might still taste sweet and can still contain sugar. Sugars occur naturally in food such as fruit and milk. But it is food with added sugars we need to cut down.

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