Why should I limit sugar?

Why are sugary foods bad for me?

Sugar is found naturally in some foods like fruits and dairy. However, during manufacturing extra sugar is added to many foods like sweetened cold drinks, sweets, biscuits and cakes, chocolates, some dairy products, and also many breakfast cereals. Our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly.

Many people enjoy sweet foods and sugary treats, but too much sugar is not good for you. When we eat too many sugary foods and drinks, it adds unnecessary kilojoules (energy) to our diet, which can lead to weight gain. This could cause you to become overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Can I still eat some sugary foods?

Sugary foods should be eaten as treats in small amounts and not regularly. If someone is already overweight or has diabetes, they should avoid the intake of sugar as much as possible. Sugary foods and drinks should not replace the other nutritious foods that we should eat often like fruits, veggies, nuts and unsweetened dairy.

How do I reduce my intake of sugar?

Remember that many prepared foods contain hidden sugar. In order to reduce your sugar intake it is important to be aware of these foods when you shop and to check your food labels regularly. See here for more on reading food labels.

Gradually try to add less sugar to your tea and coffee, breakfast cereals and when cooking. Rather add natural sweetness to food by using fresh or dried fruit and herbs or salt-free spices, like cinnamon. Set aside sugary treats for special occasions and serve small portions. Enjoy desserts with plain low-fat yoghurt instead of ice cream or custard. Try to replace your craving for sweets and chocolates with healthier options like dried or fresh fruit and nuts. Don’t deprive yourself completely – treat yourself once in a while.