Keen to know more about sugar? Keep reading for everything from what it is and its sources, to how to assess the sugar content in a product and how our delicious products stack up.
So, what is sugar?
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate. Like all carbohydrates, it provides a source of energy in our diet. The term ‘sugar’ refers to all sweet carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are consumed, the body breaks down the carbohydrate into simple sugars, such as glucose, that can be used by the body.
What are the main sources of sugar?
There are two main sources of sugar—naturally occurring and added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars can be found in foods such as fruit, legumes, vegetables and milk, while added sugars are used in recipes to enhance taste or serve a functional purpose (in the case of our bars, where glucose is used, to help hold them together).
Naturally occurring sugars are often found in foods rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. For example, fruit contains fibre and vitamin C plus the naturally occurring sugar fructose, while milk is packed with protein, calcium and plenty of micronutrients, alongside the naturally occurring sugar lactose.
How much sugar is recommended?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the intake of added sugars should not exceed 10% of your daily energy intake. For example, an adult with an energy intake of 8400kJ can consume up to 13 level teaspoons of added sugar daily (1 teaspoon = 4g sugar).
A little sugar is ok, you just need to consider how much and how often you eat it.
How can you use the food label to assess the sugar content of a product?
On a food label, ‘sugars’ refer to those that have been added PLUS those that are naturally occurring. Always look at the ingredient list to make sure that sugar is not near the top of the list. The key is to make sure nutritious ingredients are first!
How do Carman’s products add up?
Depending on the product, we either add honey, golden syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, glucose and occasionally a small amount of raw or brown sugar. All of our products have less than 3 teaspoons of sugar per serve, with the majority of our products averaging less than 2 teaspoons per serve.
Of our product range, those that are the lowest in sugar (less than 1-1.5 teaspoons per serve) include Original Muesli (3.4g of sugar per serve), Honey Roasted Nut Porridge (4.4g of sugar per serve) and Almond Hazelnut & Vanilla Roasted Nut Bars (4.6g of sugar per serve). These are all great options if you are concerned about keeping sugar as low as possible.