It is true. Most adults and children in the UK eat too much sugar. Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, but we don’t need to cut down on these types of sugars.
Sugars are also added to a wide range of foods, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the sugary foods that we should cut down on.
Why cut down on sugars?
Evidence from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey shows that most adults and children eat more sugar than is recommended as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Many foods that contain added sugars also contain lots of calories, so eating these foods often can contribute to you becoming overweight .
Food and drinks that have a lot of added sugars contain calories, but often have few other nutrients. To eat a healthy, balanced diet, we should eat these types of foods only occasionally, and get the majority of our calories from other kinds of foods such as starchy foods and fruits and vegetables.
Sugary foods and drinks can also cause tooth decay, especially if you eat them between meals. The longer the sugary food is in contact with the teeth, the more damage it can cause.
The sugars found naturally in whole fruit are less likely to cause tooth decay, because the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit. But when fruit is juiced or blended the sugars are released. Once released these sugars can damage teeth, especially if fruit juice is drunk frequently.
Fruit juice is still a healthy choice, and counts as one of your recommended daily five portions of fruit and vegetables. But it is best to drink fruit juice at mealtimes in order to minimise damage to your teeth.
For a healthy, balanced diet, cut down on foods and drinks containing added sugars.