The easy sugar rule that helped me drop weight


From fats to Fitz

SMH author Peter FitzSimons explains the easy adjustments he made to his eating regimen and life-style to shed a large 45 kilos in physique weight.

When I employed an costly private coach, he gave me a easy trick to deciphering complicated meals labels that is stayed with me ever since: by no means eat something with greater than 15g per 100g of sugar.

It noticed me lower out meals I thought have been wholesome from their star ranking or advertising and marketing, together with cereal bars and protein bars.

I modified up my breakfast totally – and misplaced weight.

So how does the 15-gram rule face up to additional scrutiny?

Accredited practising dietician Joel Feren says it is bang on the cash:

“According to the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute we should be choosing products with 15g of sugar per 100g [or less],” Feren says.

The rule has caveats, nonetheless.

Nutritionist and well being coach Lulu Cook tells me: “Many nutritious foods are naturally higher in sugar than the proposed 15g/100g limit. Cutting them out entirely – especially fruit – would be detrimental to health.”

But for processed meals she concedes 15g is a smart restrict.

Dr Kieron Rooney from Sydney University’s Faculty of Health Sciences says a harder restrict would seemingly be wanted for drinks.

“A problem I have with the 15g rule is that soft drinks still make it in the diet. Most sugar sweetened beverages have about 10 grams (of sugar) per 100 millilitres. Any sugar-cutting plan that still allows for the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is not a good long-term plan.”

Nutrition blogger and educator JR Fletcher says he would advocate an eight gram restrict for dairy merchandise.

He stresses that “low-sugar content” ought to equate to having lower than 5g per 100g; 5-15g per 100g is medium sugar content material, and above 15g is excessive.”

Surprise fails

What are the shocking meals that fail the take a look at?

Fruit-packed smoothies or shakes can simply catch folks out, says accredited practising dietician and nutritionist Sanchia Parker.

“Taking time to eat the elements of a smoothie as an alternative of consuming it permits your physique to register it is not hungry.”

Feren suggests swapping high-sugar sauces comparable to bolognese for his or her low-sugar cousin: passata.

Parker says swap tomato sauce (25 per cent sugar) or barbecue sauce (a whopping 54 per cent sugar) for salsa.

“Even sauce labelled “hot chilli” (not candy chilli), will include round 25-30 per cent sugar,” she warns.

Beware, additionally, that misleading label ‘wholesome’. Often, meals producers cannot again it up.

“Foods marketed as “healthy” are a entice for consuming extra sugar,” Parker says.

“Granola is marketed as a wholesome cereal possibility however 1 serve (50g) can include 10-15 grams of sugar because of the addition of additional sweeteners and dried fruit. Compare this to rolled oats: simply 0.1g sugar.

“Also be mindful of the ‘healthy’ protein bars, muesli bars and fruit bars. Ingredients often contain three or four different types of sugar that sound healthy but are just adding excess calories.”

Parker warns there are dozens of various names on labels which can be actually hidden sugars (non-diastatic malt, anybody?).

“Food manufacturers love it because they can trick us into thinking their food is healthier than it is because hey, who’s going to know that mannose or panocha count as sugar?” she says.

How to navigate day by day meals underneath 15g sugar

Many cereals are the worst offenders for going over the 15g restrict – begin checking the again of packets, and you will be as dismayed as I used to be.

Feren suggests more healthy breakfasts make an enormous distinction.

“Wholegrain breads, oats, and cereals like Weet-Bix, Vita Brits, Guardian, and fruit-free or nut-based mueslis.”

Parker suggests sprinkling cinnamon over your cereal or in your espresso as an alternative of sugar.

“A teaspoon contains a little sugar (0.5g) but far less than a teaspoon of sugar at 4g.”

She additionally has ideas for the remainder of the day.

“Stick to principally recent, complete meals and you will naturally be consuming much less sugar. So suppose lean protein (rooster, beef, pork), nuts, legumes, eggs, dairy, recent fruit and greens.

“Most of those meals do not even have a vitamin label – a great signal you are consuming one thing wholesome / low sugar.”

Is sugar actually the satan?

Sugar is the present bete noir of all meals, however Joel Feren feels it might have been over-egged.

“No nutrient is poison; not even sugar. We eat meals, not single vitamins. Often we lose sight of the massive image once we concentrate on only one ingredient like fats or sugar.

“While it’s fashionable to lay the blame on sugar for our expanding waistlines, it isn’t entirely fair.”

Parker agrees that we have to hold the sugar-avoidance obsession considerably in verify.

“It can be extremist. I’ve had clients who cut out all fruit, sweet-corn, and dairy because they believe there’s too much sugar in it,” she says.

“There’s definitely some fear-mongering that turns an innocent banana into the devil’s ambrosia.”

Dr Rooney says the 15/100g rule is a place to begin, but it surely relies on the context of your total eating regimen.

“It’s total sugar intake we need to be concerned about – not just how much we’re eating in each serve.”

He agrees with Parker that the most effective resolution is simply to maintain it easy.

“If you are standing in a grocery store aisle attempting to do some psychological arithmetic to find out if a product in a field can or can’t be consumed on the idea of a finite degree of sugar content material within the elements checklist, you have already misplaced. 

“Here’s an easier rule. Put it down. Head to the colorful show of recent fruit and veges proper subsequent to the entry of the grocery store. Pick one thing from there.”

Twitter: @garynunn1

Gary Nunn from

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