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Using Less Sugar and Sweeteners

Using Less Sugar and Sweeteners

Tips for how to reduce sugar in your diet and make room for more nutritious foods 
Read ingredient labels. If sugar is listed as the first, second or third ingredient, and the product probably contains a large amount of sugar as a sweetener. Identify all the sugars in a product (sucrose, honey, glucose, molasses, dextrose, corn sweetener, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, sorghum syrup, mannitol, fruit juice concentrate, sorbitol). Select items lower in added sugars when possible. 

Eat whole fruit instead of fruit juices- even 100% fruit juice is high in natural sugar.  Buy fresh fruits or fruits packed in water, juice, or light syrup rather than those in heavy syrup. Buy fewer foods that are high in sugars such as soft drinks, fruit-flavoured punches and sweet desserts. Be aware that some low-fat desserts may be very high in sugar. Limit Gatorade, PowerAde, Vitamin Water and other power drinks that are also high in sugar Add less sugar to coffee, tea, cereal or fruit. Get used to half as much, and then see if you can cut back even more. 

Use less sugar in the foods you prepare at home. Try new recipes or adjust your own. Start by reducing sugars gradually until you`ve decreased them by one third or more. As you reduce the sugar in your baked goods, try adding spices like cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, ginger and mace to enhance the sweet flavour of foods. Spiced foods will taste sweeter if warmed. Don’t skip meals- this may cause a sugar craving 
Here`s a guide for baking with less sugar: 
For every cup of flour, use only: 
Cakes and cookies: 1/2 cup sugar 
Muffins and quick breads: 1 tablespoon sugar 
Yeast breads: 1 teaspoon sugar 
Don`t worry – sugar isn`t your enemy. But reducing your sugar intake will help you cut calories and will 
allow you more room for more nutritious foods. 

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46 Sneaky Names for Sugar

46 Sneaky Names for Sugar

There are more than 200 types of added sugar used in processed food and beverages.  Added sugars are used in more than 75% of the products sold in supermarkets – often in unexpected items, like bread, salty snacks and condiments.


What to look out for to follow a sugar free diet

What to look out for to follow a sugar free diet

It is believed that cane sugar was discovered before the birth of Christ. As early as 500 B.C., India was said to have a “reed which gives honey without bees.” This reed would later become known as sugar cane.

The invasion of Arabs into India nearly 1,000 years later in 642 A.D. led to the spread of sugar cane to the rest of the world. The Arabs discovered sugar cane and learned how it was processed by the Indians. They brought the cane with them as they conquered much of Europe, introducing it to lands such as North Africa and Spain. For many years, however, the rest of Europe was stuck with honey, because sugar did not make it to the west until the crusades. The first record of sugar in England occurs in the year 1099.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. There are two types of sugars – monosaccharides, which include glucose, fructose and galactose, are made of one sugar molecule, and disaccharides are made of two sugar molecules linked together. Disaccharides are formed when monosaccharides combine – for example, when glucose and fructose are combined, they form sucrose, also known as table sugar. Other disaccharides include maltose, dextrose and lactose. When many sugar molecules are linked together, they form a complex carbohydrate, also known as a starch.

Invert Sugar, Mannitol, Sorbitol, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrins, granulated sugar,  and Xylitol. Added sugars can come from corn, beet, grape or sugar cane, which are processed before being added to foods. Sugars can also be naturally occurring (in fruit) or added (in soda).

Sugar provides the sweet flavour to foods to which it has been added, and it may also act as a preservative and flavour enhancer. Sugar is used in a variety of foods, including cookies, cakes, pickles, ice cream, alcohol and jams and jellies. Types of sugar include raw sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple sugar and corn syrup.

Sugar gives the body energy, but too much sugar is unhealthy. Sugar,  provides 16 calories per teaspoon, but provides no vitamins and minerals, so it’s a good idea to use it in moderation. Overconsumption of sugar, like other carbohydrates, has been linked to the development of cavities. However, sugar consumption has not been linked to hyperactivity in children. A high intake of sugar does not cause diabetes, but if a person is diagnosed with diabetes the amount of simple sugar eaten daily often needs to be reduced.

The body actually uses all sugars the same way- it changes them to glucose, which is what our body uses for energy. However, in order to get long-lasting energy for your body, you need to eat more complex sugars (or carbohydrates) such as whole grain products. Eating too many simple sugars, like from soda or sweets, gives you quick energy or a “sugar high” which is quickly gone, leaving you feeling sluggish. You can avoid eating too much sugar by being smart and knowing how to find it on a label.

Find sugar in ingredients listings by looking for –ose at the end.


  • Glucose- fruits, vegetables, honey, milk, cereal
  • Fructose- fruits, vegetables, honey
  • Galactose- milk products
  • Sucrose- fruits, vegetables, table sugar
  • Lactose- milk products
  • Maltose- malt products, cereal
  • Dextrose

If you can take a few minutes to read nutrition labels amid the chaos of family grocery shopping, you will find sugar as an ingredient in a surprising number of foods like peanut butter, canned tomatoes, salsa, canned chicken soup, deli-meats and pancake mix. Many juices and beverages also contain sugar.


  • One 350ml can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar!!! That is about 10 teaspoons, which is your entire daily limit of sugar!!!
  • Soda is the number one source of sugar in the U.S. diet, and other sweetened drinks are not too far behind
  • Foods with added sugars are often high in calories and low in nutrition.
  • Too much of these foods can lead to excessive weight gain



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I know I focus a lot on the fats found in food but I also look at other areas as well. Saturated fats, salt and especiallysugar need to be monitored.

Sugar is one of the hidden calories that we often don’t realise could be affecting us more than just on the scales but with our general health and wellbeing. When your body processes the sugars consumed, if there is more sugar than the body needs it is turned into acid, which is not a good thing for anyone’s body.

Did you know that there is 9 teaspoons of sugar in a 375ml can of soft drink and 43 teaspoons of sugar in a 2-litre bottle of soft drink? A 600ml carton of chocolate milk had a whopping 60g of sugar, which equals 12 teaspoons of sugar. To know how to work this out for your self read the nutritional label on products, where it says SUGAR remember that 5g of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar. For example I’ve seen a small 170g tub of yoghurt that is 98% fat-free but has 25g of sugar (5tsps) that is ridiculous. Be careful when having low fat products as they can be high in sugar or salt, which is a way for them to increase the flavour when fat is removed.

The health risks of an over consumed sugar diet can lead to type 2 diabetes, coronary problems, obesity, suppression of the immune system, tooth decay, kidney problems, depression and hypertension can occur. Remember what I always say … everything in moderation is the key to weight loss success.

Reduce or avoid products that have sugar or high-fructose near the top of their ingredient list. Sugar can also be disguised as cane juice, cane sugar, glucose, sucrose, maltose, malt dextrin, dextrose, sorbitol, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, caramel, and carob syrup.

Here are some quick ways to reduce cane sugar in your diet:

1. Avoid highly sweet cereals and opt for high fibre instead. Don’t sprinkle sugar over cereal and instead add fresh or dried fruit.

2. Don’t add sugar to coffee or tea. It takes on only a couple of weeks to get used to the taste and I guarantee once you quit you will never go back again. Ask anyone who has done this and I bet if they had a cuppa with sugar in it now that it would be horrible.

3. If you can stop having soft drink, and that includes diet soft drinks, it will help stop your sweet tooth from getting worse, this way you will crave it less.

COLUMN BY ANNETTE SYM – Annette’s cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies

Visit Annette’s website for more recipes and tips.

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Sugar Substitute Decoder

Sugar Substitute Decoder

Sugar Substitute Decoder:


  • Acesulfame Potassium E950
  • Aspartame E951
  • Sodium Cyclamate E952
  • Isomaltitol E953
  • Saccharin E954
  • Sucralose E955
  • Alitame E956
  • Thaumatin E957
  • Glycyrrhizin E958
  • Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone E959
  • Neohesperidin, DC, NHDC
  • Steviol Glycosides E960
  • Neotame E961
  • Aspartame-acesulfame salt E962
  • Maltitol E965
  • Lactitol E966
  • Xylitol E967
  • Erythritol E968
  • Erythritol E968
  • Quillaia Extract E999
  • Maltodextrin
  • Stevia
  • Rebaudioside A
  • Sorbitol E420
  • Mannitol E421




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How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?

How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?

One of the questions I get asked most is, ‘How in the world do I get my kids to go sugar free?’

It’s a good, fair question because kids are almost force-fed the stuff from every angle and denying them access can seem cruel. Over the past two years of voicing my sugar-free message I’ve collated some tips and some great lunchbox ideas from experts, friends and commenters on my blog.

My top two tips are:

1. Lead by example 
Don’t keep sugar in the house. At all. Avoid talking about it, too. The more that the sugar-free experience is normalised, the more kids will slip into line.

2. Get the kids involved 
Take them shopping and have them to help you find the ‘good’ sugar-free yoghurt, the cereal with no sugar and have them find the best stuff to eat on the tuckshop menu and when out at restaurants. The more they own the process, the less friction.


Article submitted by Sarah Wilson for I Quit Sugar

For more tips on getting your kids sugar free buy Sarah’s new book I QUIT SUGAR. Published by Pan Macmillan, RRP $34.99. Available now.


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