Know Your Sugars and get Sugar Savvy
What are the Sugar types?
There are many different types of natural sugars: glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose, lactose (milk sugar) and maltose (malt). Natural sugars provide a combination of sugar and nutrients, e.g. fructose – sugar, fibre, vitamins and minerals, whilst lactose – sugar, calcium and protein.
|Fruit/Vegetables||Glucose (g/100g)||Fructose (g/100g)||Sucrose (g/100g)|
Fruit and vegetables contain a mixture of glucose, fructose and sucrose
I’ve been told brown sugar is better than white sugar!
Brown sugar, whether raw or refined, has no real health benefits over white sugar, with main differences being its appearance, a molasses flavour and slightly more minerals.
Brown sugars are granulated sugars with the grains coated in molasses to produce a light, dark or Demerara sugar. White sugar can be granulated or milled. White sugar is generally used as a ‘table top’ sugar – sprinkled on foods, added to hot drinks or used for cooking or baking purposes.
What about Honey, is it better than Sugar?
Yes, but depending where the honey has come from and how much it has been processed; it can contain anti-bacterial properties, small amounts of minerals and vitamins.
Food processing techniques extract the sugar and leave the fibre and nutrients behind. These added sugars, are added to food and drinks. High-sugar products include many biscuits, cakes, puddings, sweets, chocolate and flavoured yoghurts. Fizzy drinks are also a major source of sugar. Sugars added to food or drink can be listed in various ways including sucrose, glucose, syrup, dextrose, honey, fructose, treacle, molasses, lactose, corn syrup or fruit juice concentrates.
Is too Much Sugar Products Bad for my Health?
Eating a high sugar foods and drinks can cause damage to our health by increasing our risk to diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and other health problems.
Is it okay to give sweetened drinks to children?
They are not the best choice for children. Too much fizzy drinks or squashes can alter their taste preferences, making it hard to like the sweetness of berries, peas, sweetcorn or other naturally sweet, nutritious foods. Too much sugary drinks can also lead to weight gain. Dilute sweet drinks, including fruit juice, with water where possible, and offer at mealtimes only.