How you could save 18 teaspoons of sugar A DAY with nutritionist's simple tweaks

Simple tweaks in recipes could save you copious teaspoons of sugar per day.

Adults in the UK are consuming more than double the recommended amount of sugar, according to Public Health England.

But our favourite sugary treats aside, sugars are often hidden in surprising foods such as pasta sauces and soups.

Nutritionist Angela Dowden, spear-heading Cancer Research UK's Sugar Free February, reveals how you can cut back while still enjoying a tasty diet.

Nutritionist Angela Dowden, spear-heading Cancer Research UK's Sugar Free February, reveals how you can cut back on sugar in foods such as hot chocolate 

Nutritionist Angela Dowden, spear-heading Cancer Research UK's Sugar Free February, reveals how you can cut back on sugar in foods such as hot chocolate 

Added sugars - different to natural sugars in foods such as fruit or milk - should make up no more than five per cent of calorie intake per day.

This equates to around 30g or seven cubes of sugar a day in line with government advice. 

'Sugar can easily tally up in our diets as many of our favourite foods contain a surprising amount of hidden sugar,' Ms Dowden said.  

HOW MUCH SUGAR IS TOO MUCH? 

The amount of sugar a person should eat in a day depends on how old they are.

Children aged four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19 grams per day.

Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than 24 grams, and children aged 11 and over should have 30g or less.  

Popular snacks contain a surprising amount of sugar and even a single can of Coca Cola (35g of sugar) or one Mars bar (33g) contains more than the maximum amount of sugar a child should have over a whole day.  

A bowl of Frosties contains 24g of sugar, meaning a 10-year-old who has Frosties for breakfast has probably reached their limit for the day before they even leave the house.  

Children who eat too much sugar risk damaging their teeth, putting on fat and becoming overweight, and getting type 2 diabetes which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Source: NHS 

'Reducing your sugar intake can help you to manage your weight by helping to remove 'empty calories' from the diet – it's also much better for your teeth.'

As a general rule with sweetners, check labels to see how its sweetness compares with sugar - 1:1 sweetener has equal sweetness by volume (spoon for spoon) as sugar. 1:2 sweetener has twice as much sweetness per volume as sugar. 

1. Hot chocolate

Save 13.8g sugars and 147 calories per mug 

Before: 23g sugar, 263 calories 

A standard mug of hot drinking chocolate is made with 18g drinking chocolate and 200ml of semi skimmed milk.

After: 9.2g sugar, 116 calories 

Put one teaspoon (4g) of good quality cocoa in a mug and whisk in 200ml of boiling semi-skimmed milk. Stir in one or two teaspoons of 1:1 low calorie sweetener (or 1-2 sweetener tablets, or a squirt of liquid sweetener) to taste.   

2. Granola 

Save 6.5g sugars and 0 calories per serving 

Before: 7.1g sugar, 258 calories

50g serving bought honey and nut granola 

After: 0.6g sugar, 258 calories 

To make low-sugar granola - stir one tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil through 50g mixed nuts and seeds and 200g rolled oats. You can add in three tablespoons of 1:1 sweetener if you want. 

Mix in two egg whites that have been whipped into very stiff peaks. Spread out onto an oil baking sheet and cook at 170 (gas mark 3-4) until crisp. Makes five servings.

Save 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar per serving of granola by making your own

Save 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar per serving of granola by making your own

3. Ketchup 

Save 4.7g sugars and 12 calories per serving

Before: 6.8g sugar, 30 calories

2tbsps (30g) shop bought ketchup  

After: 2.1g sugar, 18 calories  

Squeeze a 150g tube of tomato paste into a bowl and mix in five tablespoons of water, two tablespoons of cider (or white wine) vinegar and one and a half tablespoons 1:1 low calorie sweetener. Stir in a pinch of garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Keeps refrigerated in a jar for up to two weeks.

4. Tomato soup

Save 7g sugar and 81 calories per serving

Soup bought in the shop is an example of where sugars in the diet can be hidden

Soup bought in the shop is an example of where sugars in the diet can be hidden

Before: 19g sugar, 204 calories

400g can of cream of tomato soup

After: 12g sugar, 123 calories

To make a bowl of homemade soup - sweat a small chopped onion in a brush of oil, add 100g finely diced potato and cook gently for ten minutes. 

Add a can of tomatoes, 300ml water, two teaspoons of tomato puree and a handful of basil. Simmer until the potato is soft; blend. Makes two servings.

5. Apple crumble 

Save 25g sugar and 101 calories per serving

Before: 35g sugar, 459 calories

A bowl (180g) of crumble (stewed apples sweetened with sugar; traditional flour, butter and sugar topping)

After: 10g sugar, 358 calories

Simmer six peeled and chopped large Bramley apples in a splash of water with three tablespoons of 1:2 sweetener until softened. Meanwhile place 350g plain flour in a bowl with ten tablespoons of 1:2 sweetener and rub in 175g cubed chilled margarine until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

Spoon the apple into an ovenproof dish, cover with the crumble and cook in a medium oven until the topping is golden. Makes eight servings.

Apple crumble is just as sweet with Ms Dowden's recipe using sweetener 

Apple crumble is just as sweet with Ms Dowden's recipe using sweetener 

6. Honey roasted veg

Save 5g sugar and 21 calories per serving

Before: 17g sugar, 153 calories

WHAT ARE THE LINKS BETWEEN SUGAR AND CANCER? 

Cutting out sugar doesn't help treat cancer, and sugar doesn't directly cause cancer.

However, there are indirect links between the two.

Eating lots of sugar over time can cause you to gain weight, and scientific evidence shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer, including, breast, bowel, oesophageal and pancreatic tumours, according to Cancer Research UK.

Obesity is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the UK population will be overweight or obese by 2035, meaning obesity could cause a further 670,000 cases of cancer in the UK over the next 20 years.

It's not clear how carrying extra weight causes cells to become cancerous, but it's likely down to the chemical signals that are released from the extra body fat.

Some body fat is essential. It's our back-up energy store and it makes chemical signals that help keep our bodies in check. But when we have too much body fat, it can have harmful effects.

Extra fat we carry releases hormones and other growth-promoting signals around our bodies. It also causes inflammation, effecting how often our cells divide. These changes in cell division that are most likely behind the increased risk of cancer.

Source: Cancer Research UK 

Honey roasted veg (carrots, parsnips, turnips and beetroots

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT British man suffers NINE-DAY erection after falling from a moped and bruising ...