Most people are aware of the bad press about sugar these days, but what does all this info really mean… and are all sugars really that bad….

So this sugar business can be really confusing… right?!

Firstly sugar is a carbohydrate and therefore a good source of energy and therefore not all sugar is bad!

However sugar is not just the white stuff you sprinkle onto porridge or put in your cake.

There are actually 2 types of sugars that occur in food; ‘intrinsic sugar’ (naturally occurring sugars) and ‘free sugars’ (the sugars that are added to foods and they include honey, fruit concentrates and pure juices) for example an orange contains only intrinsic sugars however when its processed to make orange juice the cell wall of the orange is broken down releasing free sugars, this means that even 100% pure juice contains free sugars.

 Sugar and Labeling

Sugar that you see listed on the nutritional info on food packaging labels refers to ALL the sugars that are in the product therefore the INTRINSIC  SUGARS + FREE SUGARS.


So what about milk?

Milk contains only INTRINSIC sugars (naturally occurring)  so consumption in moderation is perfectly healthy!

Lets get this straight ……

The ‘baddies’ come from the FREE SUGARS therefore the intake of these sugars should be LIMITED as excess consumption can lead to health risks. But intrinsic sugars are perfectly healthy consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

So what are the recommended free sugar LIMITS ?

Adults/teenagers 30g=7tsp

Children 7-10 24g= 6tsp

Children 4-6 19g = 5tsp


I think the problems with recommended amounts are that most people can’t be bothered to find out how much sugar is in their food.


So to put these recommended amounts into context


30g of free sugar = LESS THAN a regular 330ml can of cola as this contains 35g therefore you have already exceeded the LIMIT for the day!


So my advice is to enjoy foods containing naturally occurring sugars (intrinsic sugars) such as in fruit, veg and milk but where possible try and AVOID all food containing free sugars (typically found in processed food) and if you don’t know whether a product will contain free sugars, by sticking to a natural and UNPROCESSED diet therefore focusing on eating WHOLEFOODS instead of processed food you shouldn’t get caught out!