The bitter truth about sugar

Sugar now appears in foods we least expect it to.

There’s been a lot of coverage in the news recently about the amount of sugar that is present in a lot of the food and drink we consume, with many groups calling on the government to reduce this level by up to 30 percent within the next five years. 

One of the main issues these groups have with sugar levels in processed food and drink is that they’re not always obvious to consumers, and many people are not aware of how much of it they’re consuming on a regular basis. 

In fact, it’s now harder than ever to avoid sugar which appears in foods we least expect it to, such as bread, sauces, flavoured water drinks and canned soups (to name a few). And looking at the labels for sugar content isn’t always that straightforward, as there are over 30 different names for sugar – including fructose, lactose, glucose, and dextrose. 

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth come under acid attack for up to one hour. This means it’s very important to keep sugary foods to mealtimes, to limit the amount of time your mouth is at risk. 

It’s a good idea to check the ingredients of any processed foods you buy so that you’re aware of their sugar content, and so that you can limit the frequency that you eat them. It’s also vital that you continue to follow a good oral health routine, brushing twice a day and visiting your dental team regularly. 

Following this advice won’t just benefit your oral health but can also improve your general wellbeing; eating healthily can reduce your risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and obesity as well as boosting your immune system and energy levels. 

Here’s a quick look at the average amount of sugar in some of the food and drink we have on a regular basis… 

Food/drink  Average amount of sugar
 A flavoured frozen coffee with cream
 11 teaspoons
 One can of cola
 8 teaspoons
 Sweet and sour chicken and rice ready meal
 6 teaspoons
 Low fat yogurts
 Up to 5 teaspoons
 A tin of tomato soup
 4 teaspoons
 Chocolate digestive biscuit
 2 teaspoons

Published: January 28th, 2014

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There may be more sugar in certain foods than you realise