Further to my post last week about sugar toxicity… My colleague and I were discussing how difficult it is for people to know how much sugar to eat. As dietitians, we don’t even really know. Sure, there are some general guidelines out there, the WHO suggests that no more than 10% of your total daily energy intake come from added sugars. The American Heart Association suggested that women consume no more than 100 calories a day from added sugars, men no more than 120. That’s not a whole lot of added sugar. Less than there is in a can of pop!
I know that there are difficulties in developing guidelines for sugar consumption as a number of foods contain naturally occurring sugars. If we decide to create guidelines surrounding added sugars in foods and impose disclosure regulations for labels then you know that food manufacturers are going to find a way to make most of the sugar in their foods come from natural ingredients. I think that we should treat all sugar in packaged foods as added sugar. Let’s not worry about the sugar in fruit but if that fruit is added to your box of cereal, juice, or yoghurt, then it should count as added sugar. We need easy to follow universal guidelines that match the labeling we use.