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How much sugar are you drinking?

As Diabetes month draws to a close and the festive season approaches, taking stock of how much sugar you are drinking is an exercise worth doing. Sugar is hidden in many products and beverages are no exception. The reason for highlighting beverages is the fact that they are consumed in addition to our meals. They do not contribute to our daily nutrient intake and nor do they satisfy our hunger.

The use of 2-3 teaspoons of sugar in your beverages per day is not likely to be detrimental to your health or waist line but most beverages have in excess of this and if you consume more than one sugar containing beverage with any amount of regularity, you will be far exceeding the recommended intake of sugar by the World Health Organisation which currently sits at 5% total energy intake. This translates to an intake of 1/2 a teaspoon per 1000 kJ energy consumed.

Use this diagram to calculate your liquid sugar intake. Remember to add on the number of teaspoons of sugar you add to your tea or coffee. And most importantly, remember that the value you end up with is only reflective of sugar consumed as a beverage and not that of any sugar eaten in sweets, chocolates, cakes or biscuits or added to cereals.

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