I received an e-mail recently from a friend (one of those spam e-mails) with some photos of beverages and food and their sugar content. I was quite surprised to see the claims that were made and decided to check the web to see whether the claims were true. I found the source for the pictures of the e-mail, which is Sugar Stacks (and I have a slide show of some of the pictures above) and also checked a few other sites to verify that these claims are true. To MY knowledge, the claims check out and are to an extend, supported by Choice Australia, a major and reputable Australian consumer magazine. You can check out Choice’s articles on sugar and the sugar contents of some Australian major brands at their site (click HERE).
There have been media reports that fresh fruit (and vegetables) should not be allowed to have “healthy claims” associated with its consumption and sale as some fruits such as dates, bananas, figs, kumquats and lychees (to name a few) have very high to high sugar content. Whilst this may be true, it must be noted that these sugars are naturally occurring sugars (and are not processed sugars) and the benefits of consuming fruit and vegetables out weighs the sugar content. However, as with everything in live, moderation is the key. You can check out the sugar levels and other information on fruits on The Fruit Pages.
The dietary advice in Australia is that you should eat 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day for good health.
One serve of fruit is 150g or:
~ 1 medium sized piece e.g. medium apple
~ 2 small pieces e.g. apricots
~ 1 cup canned or chopped fruit
~ 125 ml 100 per cent fruit juice
~ 1 ½ tbsp dried fruit e.g. sultanas or 4 dried apricot halves.
One serve of vegetables is 75g or:
~ ½ cup cooked vegetables
~ 1 medium potato
~ 1 cup salad vegetables
~ ½ cup cooked legumes – dried beans, peas and lentils.
Choose fresh fruit over fruit juice or dried fruit if possible. Juices have lower fibre content than fresh fruit. Dried fruit, if eaten in large quantities, can contribute to tooth decay because it contains a concentrated form of sugar that stick to your teeth. Check out the “Go for 2 and 5” website for full information.
In conjunction with this dietary advice, we should also pay attention to daily intakes (DI) which is a set of reference values for a variety of nutrients, as well as energy. The DI values are based on a diet of 8700kJ, which is the daily requirement for an average adult. As different nutrients contribute different amounts of energy, to get 100 per cent of the DI for energy, you need a balance of these following nutrients: carbohydrates, sugars, protein, fat, saturated fat, fibre and sodium.
FYI: Do you know that there are around 900,000 Australians diagnosed with diabetes? This is approximately 4.28 per cent of Australia’s population. The number of diabetic suffers in the world is estimated to be 171 million and is likely to rise to 366 million in 2030. India has the most cases (31.7 million), followed by China (20.8 million) and the USA (17.7 million).
Source: Sugar Stack, Choice Australia, The Fruit Pages, Go for 2 and 5, Kellogg's Australia, Diabetes Australia, WHO and CIA World Facts.