Eat Out Sugar Smart

We spoke to Claire White, author of two Sugar Snub books and nutritional advisor, to find out what inspired her to go sugar-free and how we can avoid sugar or reduce our intake. Her latest book, the Sugar Snub Eating Out Guide, is a must-have resource for anyone who wants to watch their sugar consumption but still enjoy eating out!

“The Sugar Snub Eating Out Guide was born out of frustration; I became sugar-free following treatment for breast cancer two years ago.  I had nailed shopping and cooking at home; however eating out was a hurdle.

This wasn’t just for myself, but also my little boy. I avoided the obvious options, but when you still want to buy something tasty on the run, the choices can be limited and confusing.

Researching the book was absolutely fascinating. I learnt of restaurants and menus where I would struggle to find something with limited sugar, but most importantly meals and snacks we could all enjoy.

sugar snub image

We are a nation of grab and go. Indulged by coffee shops in every high street, train station and airport, full of tempting snacks to enjoy with your beverage of choice. And oh what a choice we have. A shot of caramel in your latte, or strawberry and cream frappe to keep you refreshed; (the caramel shot adds four teaspoons of sugar to your drink, and the frappe totals 13.5 teaspoons which is two days’ worth of sugar).

Now what should we have with our drink? Surely a butter croissant is too indulgent; actually it only contains one teaspoon of sugar.  Many would steer towards the skinny blueberry muffin, when in fact it packs a whopping 8.5 teaspoons of sugar.

In Pret, the dark chocolate corn cake is a better choice, 2.5 teaspoons of sugar, whereas a slice of lemon drizzle cake contains a staggering 18 teaspoons (nearly 3 days’ worth of sugar).

Fingers can be pointed towards clever marketing, and mis-information about fat being the centre of our obesity and health crisis. And it doesn’t stop at the sweet snacks.  

Breakfast on the go; an Egg and Bacon Baguette, demonised by the health conscious, provides only half a teaspoon of sugar, whereas the Honey Granola Pot and Acai Breakfast Bowl pack eight teaspoons of sugar each.

For lunch choose a Tuna and Mayo Baguette (one teaspoon), over the Cheddar and Pickle Baguette (four teaspoons).

Pop into Nandos for dinner, steer towards chicken on its own or the burgers (one teaspoon); the wraps contain sugar, and combined with the mango and lime dressing, amount to five teaspoons. 

Wagamama is my favourite eating out venue, and I was delighted that my pre-sugar free choice was a good one; Chicken Ramen. However another old favourite came off the menu choices; Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar.  They add oyster and/or soy sauce to the dish, which are laden with the white stuff.  I’ve asked if they can make the dish without it, but the marinades and sauces are pre-made, and can’t be left out.

Eating out is a happy experience, an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, but when we are looking to reduce our overall sugar content, repeatedly making choices with high sugar contents, in the short term can affect our mood and energy levels, and in the long term adversely affect our health.”

The Sugar Snub Eating Out Guide contains menu listings in order of sugar content, helping you eat out sugar smart.  Also included are fat, sat fat, salt and calories.  Menus include: Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero, Pret a Manger, Nandos, Wagamama, Carluccios, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Yo! Sushi, Wetherspoons, Dominos, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and Subway. 

Need to know the sugar content of your weekly shop? Claire’s first book, the Sugar Snub Food Guide, uses a traffic light system to provide the ultimate advice and supermarket food shopping guide to help you quickly see how much sugar is in over 7,000 of your grocery items. 

To find out more, visit Claire's website at www.sugarsnub.co.uk.

Back to the Sugar-Free September homepage