What is sugar?
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. Other carbohydrates include fibre and starches. Carbohydrates are broken down in the body to provide energy.
The term ‘sugar’ generally covers glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose and galactose – names you may have heard before.
Sugar can be found in a wide variety of foods. Some sugar occurs naturally, like fructose in fresh and dried fruit and lactose in milk and yoghurt, and some sugar is added, such as honey, syrups and sucrose.
What's the role of sugar in foods like cereals and snacks?
Sugar plays an important role in food, not only adding sweetness but also to helping improve a food’s texture and colour. Sugar also helps ingredients stick together and can act as a preservative.
In breakfast cereal, sugar improves the flavour, provides that golden colour and crunchy texture and structure, and stops it going soggy in the bowl too quickly. In muesli bars, sugar helps them hold together so they don’t crumble in your hand.
How much sugar is recommended?
The World Health Organization (WHO) (1) recommends that no more than 10% of a person’s total energy intake (daily kilojoules) comes from added sugars (not including natural sugar from fruit and milk).
This is to help reduce your risk of dental cavities and help protect against becoming overweight and/or obese.
The WHO sugar recommendation equates to:
- 13 teaspoons or less of added sugar per day* for an adult
- 10 teaspoons or less of added sugar per day for a child
* This is modelled for a diet containing 8700kJ for an average adult.
1. Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015. 2. National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council.
How do Uncle Tobys products stack up?
We offer a range of options across our product range.
For our breakfast cereals, the total sugar ranges from 0g to 27g (including fruit) per 100g. This equates to 0-12g or 0-3 teaspoons* per serve, depending on the cereal.
The total amount of sugar in our lunchbox muesli bars ranges from 4.3g to 5.8g per bar – that’s between 1¼ and 1½ teaspoons per serve.
Our nut bars are similar, with between 5g and 6.1g per bar or 1¼ – 1½ teaspoons per serve.
* 1 level teaspoon sugar = 4 g sugar