WARNING: Sugar content revealed in pictures.
A couple of weeks back I set off around my local supermarket (Sainsbury's) with the Sugar Free Siblings equipped with our smart phones and the 'Sugar Smart' app. We rustled together a variety of everyday purchases, along with a couple of snacks branded 'healthy' and 'natural' which you wouldn't necessarily associate with sugar.
The below is by no means meant to scare you, however it is meant to inform you, so at least you know what you're eating and can make that discussion for yourself to do so, knowing exactly what is in it. There are so many misleading labels and words used to entice people in when they think they are making healthy decisions. I think you'll agree the images speak for themselves here.
Maximum daily amounts:
4-6 years = 5 sugar cubes max (19 grams)
7-10 years = 6 sugar cubes max (24 grams)
From 11 years = 7 sugar cubes max (30 grams)
Heinz Tomato Ketchup
300ml/342grams bottle - 28 sugar cubes in the bottle.
Created in 1886 I think we can all say we grew up on this sweet stuff. Now of course I'm aware we don't devour the whole bottle in one sitting, but it is important to point out that one dollop could be a good 2 sugar cubes. If you can't live without it the Sugar Free Siblings gave a shout out to this alternative made by Doctor Wills.
Uncle Ben's Sweet & Sour
450grams - 9 sugar cubes in the jar.
Oh hey Uncle Ben, your little green label says 100% natural ingredients? Not sure that is totally true. If you do still enjoy a sweet and sour dish (don't think I've had it since school) why not give this low sugar sweet & sour sauce a go instead by Christine Bailey?
Butterkist Toffee Popcorn
170grams - 27 sugar cubes in the bag.
Please be aware this is not a 'wholegrain' nor a 'source of fibre' like the packet claims. Ingredients is almost entirely sugar with glucose syrup, sugar, butter, single cream, invert sugar syrup (mixture of glucose and fructose) and molasses. We've all been there enjoying a bag at the movies but just so you know, don't let the 106 calories per 25g serving fool you!
34grams - 8 sugar cubes in the pack.
Horses love them. The iconic POLO always found handy in the car for minty fresh breath. I had no idea there were so many cubes in this little tube. Lucky they took the citrus ones off the market years ago, they were my favourites.
113grams - 27 and 3 quarter sugar cubes in the bag.
Now we know why they suggest sharing them, but we never do. Best start so we don't overdose on the white stuff.
200grams - 28.5 sugar cubes in the jar.
This is frightening. We've all seen the deconstructed jar of Nutella showing the 5 different layers of sugar and fat. Why not switch the Nutella up for a Hazelnut Butter - there are so many alternative spreads on the market now including Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter, Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter & RAW Health Organic Cacao Brazilnut bliss.
Green Machine Naked
450ml - 13.5 sugar cubes in the bottle.
I used to drink this back in the day when I found out that Innocent Smoothies weren't so innocent so moved onto the Green Machine. Full of apple juice, pineapple juice, banana puree, mango puree and natural flavourings. Yes whole fruits but I would stay clear, this is a crazy amount of sugar. Remember sugar is sugar, your body still has to get rid of it. Maybe just eat a piece of fruit?
Copella Cloudy Apple
300ml - 7 sugar cubes in the bottle.
This little mini bottle is your maximum daily amount. Yikes!
Nakd Cocoa Orange
35grams - 3 and a pinch of sugar cubes in the bar.
I still dabble with these bars when I'm on the move as they are pretty accessible in the shops but I was still surprised to see just over 3 sugars in this little bar.
go ahead! Yogurt breaks
35.6grams - 3.5 sugar cubes in the packet.
Again, very deceiving, especially as they are 75 cals per slice!
300ml - 7.5 sugar cubes in the bottle.
How many people kickstart their day on this juice? Tropicana with bits would be my first choice too as a child. Again we've got a ridiculous amount of sugar in this little bottle.
Lime Infused Dried Mango
100grams - 13.5 sugar cubes in the bag.
Again, just so deceiving. Who knew dried fruit would be more sugary than real fruit? Also may I add lacking in fibre which makes it harder to digest. 'I Quit sugar' advocate two pieces of whole pieces of fruit a day trying to stay clear of high fructose options like bananas and grapes. Berries, lemons, limes, pears with the skin and grapefruit are the best low-fructose fruits.
Mary Berry's Honey & Balsamic Vinaigrette
Love Mary but why not just make your own dressing? Make it at the start of the week into a little pouring jug and it will last. I keep it simple with Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Yum.
Pret Souper Tomato
We all love PRET our loyal friend always there to rely on. I love PRET and commend it for it's organic coffee, bone broths and great veggie options. Pret has really stepped up in the last few years attempting to lower salt and sugar intake while still giving items a shelf life. Notice how they don't use the word ‘healthy’ in any of the marketing material — it’s worded carefully however for most of us 'fresh' and 'natural' means healthy eating.
This dairy free, gluten free, under 250 cals 'Souper Tomato' soup, 'Cranberries in Coats' and a 'Sparkling Yoga Bunny' infused with 'natural' herbs isn't quite what it says it is with a whopping 8 cubes in the one can. Many of us would think that was a light and healthy lunch from PRET when in reality you're consuming 19.5 sugar cubes. Reminder to read the labels and try to stick to foods in their natural forms as much as possible.
If you're still in utter disbelief with what you've seen and fancy a little guidance around your local supermarket do get in touch. I’ll teach you how to be a pro food detective in your local supermarket or health food shop. You'll start to understand the labels so you know what to look for and stay clear of when restocking your kitchen. Remember, just because it’s in a health food store or is ‘gluten free’ it doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Click here to read more about my services.