What are 'free sugars'?
'Free sugars' are:
- 'Added sugars' - including sugars found in biscuits, chocolate and fizzy drinks. These sugars may be added at home or already added to the things we buy.
- Sugars in honey, syrups (such as maple, agave and golden), nectars (such as blossom), and unsweetened fruit juices, vegetable juices and smoothies. These are natural sugars but still count as free sugars.
We do not need to cut down on sugar found naturally in milk, fruit and vegetables, they come with extra nutrients, such as fibre.
The recommended daily limit on the amount of ‘free sugar’ we consume is around 30g a day, no more than about 7.5 teaspoons. But many of us in UK are going over that limit and often because of some foods and drinks that contain more sugar than we might expect…
1. Tomato ketchup
Often seen as the ‘nation’s favourite sauce’, tomato ketchup contains around 27.5g of sugar per 100g. You may be thinking “100g, you’d have to eat a lot of ketchup”! But to put this into everyday terms, 1 tablespoon of ketchup contains about 1 teaspoon of sugar. However, most of us eat a lot more more than 1 tablespoon (17g) of ketchup per meal. For example, 1 pot of ketchup from a fast-food outlet contains around 21g. That means having a couple of pots with your meal takes you up to around 3 teaspoons of added sugar!
Tip: try a reduced sugar version, but you should still be careful of how much you are having per meal.