A few years ago sugar indulgence was associated with fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, sweets, ice cream, gooey puddings and peculiar shaped children's cereal. However revelations continue to out supermarket products that have been concealing their considerable sugar content.
With the population consuming 2.5 times the amount of sugar the World Health Organisation and UK Government advise, and obesity and type 2 diabetes projections set to soar, it's imperative to have transparency of our food ingredients and their effect on our health and wellbeing.
New guidance is helping us learn the types of sugar to be avoided; from this we can shop and cook sugar smart. Be aware of these offenders:
Long considered a staple on the breakfast table, and assumed an easy way to get a hit of Vitamin C. Fruit juice is actually considered a 'free sugar', meaning the natural fruit sugar fructose has been released without the fibre.
Chances are you are drizzling up to 30% sugar over your frisee and radicchio. Stick with flavoured olive oil and full fat mayonnaise.
Low Fat Products
When fat is removed from food it tastes like cardboard, adding sugar solved that problem. Shame sugar is now a major cause of heart disease, not fat.
Who'd have thought the healthy oats, seeds and fruit, hastily consumed in the morning, were bound by so much sugar that you may as well have been chomping on coco pops.
A tin of Heinz tomato soup contains 5 teaspoons of sugar, not quite the winter warmer our pancreas desires.
With breakfast on the go an increasing necessity, a proliferation of instant options fill the aisles. Read the labels carefully as many are loaded with sugar.
There are some health benefits but not sufficient to justify frequent consumption. It's 80% sugar, a large quantity of which is fructose which we haven't evolved without an appetite hormone 'off switch' for.
If you're a fan of a korma or butter chicken dish from the takeaway, take heed that sugar is often added to provide flavour.
Certain dish accompaniments are obviously high in sugar, mango chutney (58%), but some may still provide a shock - Waitrose Essential Mint Jelly packs 69% sugar.
Coca Cola is the greatest sugar offender named and shamed, however if you pop into a high street coffee shop and choose an iced frappe you will be consuming 50% more sugar than a can of coke - 14tsp!
Claire White - Sugar Snub
Claire White, founder of Sugar Snub, offers talks to employees in London and the South East. Working closely with the Sugar Smart Campaign, backed by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. For more information contact [email protected]
Author of the acclaimed Sugar Snub Food Guide and Sugar Snub Eating Out Guide. Mail on Sunday "essential reading". Available from www.sugarsnub.co.uk, and Amazon.