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Kick Your Sugar Habit – Life Can Be Sweeter Without It!

What are Sugars?

Sugars refer to a broad category of carbohydrates that are broken down by the body for energy.

There are two types of sugar:
Natural Sugar – Sugar naturally present in food like fruits (fructose) or milk (lactose).

Added Sugar – This includes all kinds of sugar added to processed food and/or beverages during the production and/or preparation for flavour or colour enhancement.

Why are they dangerous?
Excessive sugar intake can lead to unwanted weight gain, increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases which includes heart disease and cancer. It also impacts dental health.

How much should I take?
According to the World Health Organisation Guideline 2015, the recommended sugar intake is limited to 5 teaspoons (25g) per day.

Making an effort to find out the hidden sugar in the food you eat can help achieve this goal and beat added sugar at its game of hide and seek.

Know Your Sugar Names

A few clues that indicate that an ingredient might have added sugar includes:

  • Contains syrup (examples: corn syrup, fruit syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, rose syrup)
  • Words ending in “ose” (examples: fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose)
  • Contains the word “sugar” in the product’s name (examples: raw sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, confectionary sugar, white sugar, sugar alcohols)
  • Other examples of added sugar include fruit nectars, fruit juice concentrates, honey, agave  and molasses

How to read a nutrition label?

Swap for Healthier Alternatives

There are many ways to cut back on added sugar and calories with these tasty tricks!

Desserts & Sweets

There is no need to eliminate desserts and sweets completely. Indulge without guilt by swapping high sugar ice cream for healthier alternatives like sorbet and frozen yogurt. Blend with fresh fruits and freeze them for a quick summer treat.

Snack & Granola Mix

Make your own snack and granola mix, without the added sugar, at home instead of buying prepacked mix from the supermarket. You can combine all your favourite nuts, dried fruits, non-sugared rolled oats and/or whole-grain cereals.

Condiments & Sauces

Swap store-brought processed sauces and condiments, which contains a huge amount of added sugar, for a homemade version. That way, you can control the amount of sugar added to them.

Coffee & Tea

Wean off added sugar to your coffee and tea gradually by halving your intake for a week before halving it again. By gradually reducing the sweetness, your body has time to adjust to the new taste.

Check Out How Much Sugar Is In Them

No High Sugar Choices Total Sugar Content (tsp) Lower Sugar Alternatives Total Sugar Content (tsp)
1 Mocha
(250ml)
2.5 Cappuccino
(250ml)
1
2 Coffee (Kopi)
(250ml)
4.5 Coffee with evaporated milk, less sugar (Kopi C Siu Dai)
(250ml)
3
3 Chocolate milk
(200ml)
5.5 Milk
(200ml)
3
4 Ice lemon tea
(300ml)
6 Lemon tea bag, no sugar added
(300ml)
0
5 Green tea drink (250ml) 3 Oolong tea drink
(250ml)
0
6 Milk chocolate
(4 cubes, 20g)
2 Dark chocolate with 90% cocoa
(4 cubes, 20g)
<0.5
7 Vanilla ice cream
(2 scoops, 100g)
4 Frozen yoghurt
(2/3 cups, 100g)
2.5
8 Tomato pasta sauce
(1 cup, 280g)
3.5 Tomato puree
(1 cup, 280g)
2.5
9 Hazelnut chocolate spread
(1 tablespoon, 19g)
2 Peanut butter
(1 tablespoon, 20g)
<0.5
10 Butter cake
(1 slice, 90g)
5.5 Steamed sponge cake
(1 slice, 40g)
2

*Tsp = Teaspoon

Total sugar content: May contain naturally-occurring sugars and free sugars.
Source: Energy & Nutrient Composition of Food, Health Promotion Board, 2011

Click here to download Kick Your Sugar Habit Pamphlet  

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The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) strives to be an advocate and integrator for kidney health and holistic care for the community by the community. While supporting kidney failure patients with quality dialysis treatment and integrated care, its greater mission lies in preventing or delaying kidney failure through kidney health education with deeper integration into the community and strategic collaborative partnerships.
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