Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight


Basket full of pastries and baked foodsBeware of added sugars

Foods and drinks containing added sugars can also add lots of energy (kilojoules) to our diets.

It’s not the naturally occurring sugars in fruits, some vegetables or milk products that are the problem. These foods from the five food groups are all important for our health. Rather, it’s the food and drinks with added sugars that we need to limit.

Added sugars can increase the energy (kilojoule) content of our diet, without providing other nutrients. They can also increase the risk of tooth decay.

If you are overweight or if you are a healthy weight and plan to stay that way, then it is especially important to limit your intake of foods containing added sugars and especially sugar-sweetened drinks.

Foods high in added sugars include jams, marmalades, confectionery (lollies), syrups and sweetened sauces and dressings. Foods such as biscuits, cake, sweet muffins, doughnuts, slices, puddings, sweet pastries, pies and crumbles, ice-cream, chocolate and muesli bars can also be high in added sugars.

It is particularly easy to overlook what we drink, but having sugar-sweetened drinks can add a lot to our daily energy (kilojoule) intake. Recent studies show that an intake of sugar-sweetened drinks can increase the risk of excess weight gain in both children and adults. Drinks that contain added sugars include sweetened soft drinks, cordials, energy drinks, sports drinks, waters with added vitamins, sweetened waters and fruit drinks.

Foods and drinks that are artificially sweetened can sometimes be used instead of those with added sugars. But artificially sweetened soft drinks are still acidic and can affect tooth enamel. Try to drink water instead.

Tips to limit added sugar include:

  • Training your taste buds to rely less on sweetness
  • Going for fruit instead of biscuits or cake, chocolate or lollies
  • If you occasionally have desert, sharing it with a friend
  • Keeping a jug of chilled water in the fridge.



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