Checking for sugar in your food…

In order to improve health it is important to cut down on the amount of added sugar we have in our diet. However, for many people what constitutes as “added sugar” is a bit of a mystery!

sugar exposed | reading labels | sugar listing on labels

Talking to clients, friends and family, many feel that they don’t eat much in the way of sugar:

“I don’t add any to my tea”

“I don’t like sweet food or puddings much”

Yet so many of the foods on our shelves and in our cupboards contain hidden sugars.

A report from Which? found that 32 out of 50 cereals examined in a study were considered as “high” in sugar with only two of them being high down to natural sugars from fruit.

So how do we check how much sugar is in our products? Well, quite honestly, it is not as simple as it should be. First and foremost is to check the ingredients list. But the food manufacturers are cleverer than that and use a variety of terms to describe “added sugar”.

If you are checking for “added sugar” in you foodstuffs you might want to keep an eye out for the different ways of labelling sugar listed below:





Glucose syrup

Fructose-glucose syrups

Corn syrups

Invert sugar


Maple syrup

Malt extract




Deionized fruit juices

High maltose syrups

Agave syrup




Maize syrup

Fructose syrup

N.B. This is NOT an exclusive list!!

If you notice any of these on the ingredients list, it means the food has added sugar. The higher up on the list these ingredients are, the more of the product is made up of them and therefore the more added sugar they contain.

Secondly, check out our simple label reading guide for more information on how to read labels and spot high sugar foods, simply and easily using the information on the package.

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