Sugar (Added sugar versus natural sugar)-Which is friend and which is foe?

Sugar like any food commodity should be part of any well balanced diet. It is imperative though not to be hood-winked by the different food packaging that detail ‘naturally occurring sugars only’, and for consumers to see this as a license to consume as much product as possible.

Naturally occurring sugars can be as detrimental to one’s diet as ‘added sugars’. This is an important point, when one is purchasing in food products they should check the ‘sugar level’ on the nutritional values on the label as this is the tangible metric to consider and not whether sugars are natural or added sugars in product. Any value above 20g of sugar per 100ml/g is to be wary of. This can be inclusive of the aforementioned naturally occurring sugars or added sugars (those added to food and not naturally occurring).

What we can do to combat this major issue which is seeing children grow obese and having very early tooth decay is to ensure we read all labels on purchases as above, keep sugary treats (we all have them!) to main meal times only, reduce/eliminate eating sticky/chewy confectionery with high sugar content as they will stick to ones teeth and build up acid on teeth over a longer period of time, eat fresh not dried fruit, keep smoothies to meal times and use fluoride toothpaste for both yourself and your children. These small steps will greatly reduce the chances of both yourself and your children inheriting bad habits that lead to dental decay and ill health. At the moment, food companies don’t have to tell you what is naturally occurring and what has been added so you can be forgiven for being confused.