Smart Shopping: Checking Sugar Content

Did you know that the average Australian consumes around 22 teaspoons of sugar EVERY DAY?  “Impossible”, you might think, “There is no way I could possibly have that much sugar – after all, I don’t even add sugar to my daily cuppa.” The problem is that there is a LOT of hidden sugar in processed foods – and this week, I want to teach you how to read labels to make sure you know how to determine the amount of sugar added to a product.   

Beware of hidden sugars

Beware of hidden sugars

Once you have selected the food, the first thing you need to do is read through the Ingredient List (see: ).  Basically, if you read through the ingredients list and see the words ‘sugar’, ‘sucrose’ (‘maltose’ or any other word that ends in ‘ose’), any ‘syrup’, ‘molasses’, ‘malt’, ‘honey’, ‘maltodextrin’ or ‘caramel’, then there is sugar added to that food.  You may be shocked to find more than one type of sugar in the ingredients list – that is very common, sometimes there can be up to 4 different types of sugars in one product!

Now it’s time to check is the actual sugar content.  To determine the amount of sugar in a food, look at the ‘Nutritional Information’ label and find the ‘Carbohydrate’ figure that appears in the per 100g column.  This figure shows that amount of total carbohydrate in the food:  however, some of that ‘total’ carbohydrate may be naturally occurring which is when it is imperative to look at the ‘Sugars’  as this tells you how much ‘sugar’ is added. For example, in the label shown below, you can see that per 100g, 14.5g of ‘Sugars’ is in the product. (NOTE: click on label to enlarge the image). 

Popular cereal Special K contains a LOT of sugar

Popular cereal Special K contains a LOT of sugar

As a general rule, you should not buy a processed food if it has 10g or more ‘Sugars’ per 100g – so this food (which is incidentally Special K cereal) should be avoided.  If you can find a food with 5g of ‘Sugars’ or less per 100g, then this contains a little amount of sugar and should be in your shopping trolley:  that is providing you have checked that the fat content is acceptable (see last week’s blog on fat: )

The Natural Way’s Healthy Living is a vital part of our weight loss programme.  Healthy Living is a really a ‘lifestyle education’ package, where each client personally ‘coached’ by their weight loss consultant in weight maintenance.   Healthy Living teaches our clients all the skills needed in order to maintain their weight successfully once they reach their goal.

Book a FREE appointment with one of our caring consultants on 1300 SLIMMER (754663) OR Visit our website:

About Lose Weight With Sue

I am a naturopath for The Natural Way. We have 24 clinics nationally that help people to lose weight & educate on how to keep it off.
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