The 'health snacks' that are made with up to 60% of sugar

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Consumers are being tricked into thinking snacks billed as having 'no added sugar' are healthier than they are, experts have warned.

Health experts say the term is a 'con' and natural sugars, such as fructose, are just as bad for the body in high doses, raising the risk of obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

MailOnline analysed how much sugar was really in popular energy bars, fruit crisps and protein snacks sold on supermarket shelves.

Despite marketing themselves as having 'no added sugar', nine of the most popular products were found to contain high amounts of it.  

Nakd's Lemon Drizzle bar, which is made from the fruit, served up more than four teaspoons (17g) of the sweet stuff in one tiny 35g bar.

Analysis showed it was made up of 51 per cent of sugar. The NHS says any product with more than 22.5 per cent of total sugars per 100g is too much.

Experts say it's better to get natural sugars from wholefoods such as fruit, rather than products with other additives.   

The NHS does not say people should cut back on natural sugars, but it warns that all sugar is bad in high doses.  

Nakd's Lemon Drizzle bar, which brags about having 'no added sugar', was made up of 51 per cent of sugar. It served up four teaspoons (17g) of the sweet stuff in one tiny 35g bar

Nakd's Lemon Drizzle bar, which brags about having 'no added sugar', was made up of 51 per cent of sugar. It served up four teaspoons (17g) of the sweet stuff in one tiny 35g bar

An Apple and Cinnamon Lara Bar, which made the same boast on its packaging, was crammed with 19g of sugar. That means sugar made up almost half of all its ingredients

An Apple and Cinnamon Lara Bar, which made the same boast on its packaging, was crammed with 19g of sugar. That means sugar made up almost half of all its ingredients

Spare Pear Fruit Crisps, also billed as having 'no added sugar', was made up of 61 per cent of the sweet stuff and served 11g of it in each packet

Spare Pear Fruit Crisps, also billed as having 'no added sugar', was made up of 61 per cent of the sweet stuff and served 11g of it in each packet

On its website, the health service says people should 'be aware that natural sugars are included along with free sugars in the 'total sugars' figure that you'll see on food labels.'

Dr Aseem Malhotra, a consultant cardiologist and co-founder of Action On Sugar, said: 'Natural sugars is a marketing ploy.

'The maximum daily intake should be no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day - regardless of whether they are natural or free sugars.

'They both have the same effect on increasing heart disease risk if consumed in high concentration.'

All sugar is made up of glucose or fructose molecules and act on the body in the same way.

Some sugars, for example dates or coconut sugar, contain small amounts of nutrients such as calcium, iron or fibre. 

But sugar is not considered a useful source of these. To get them in any significant quantity, you would have to consume an unhealthy amount. 

An Apple and Cinnamon Lara Bar, which was advertised as having 'no added sugar', was crammed with 19g of it. 

That means sugar made up almost half (42 per cent) of all its ingredients. 

The term 'no added sugar' doesn't actually reveal anything about how much of the white stuff is in something - as it may still contain a huge amount from fruit. 

The claim is that these 'health' snacks are better for us because they are made up of 'natural sugars' as opposed to free sugars.

MailOnline also found that Spare Pear Fruit Crisps - an air-dried fruit snack - were 61 per cent sugar and contained almost three teaspoons (11g) of it in each packet. 

A Deliciously Ella Cacao and Almond Energy Ball is made up of 42 per cent of sugar, which works out at 16.7g, or more than four teaspoons

A Deliciously Ella Cacao and Almond Energy Ball is made up of 42 per cent of sugar, which works out at 16.7g, or more than four teaspoons

The Protein Ball Company's Raspberry Brownie was loaded with 15g of sugar in one pack of six balls

The Protein Ball Company's Raspberry Brownie was loaded with 15g of sugar in one pack of six balls

An RX Blueberry Protein Bar - popular on Amazon - was crammed with 15g of sugar which made up 30 per cent of its ingredients

An RX Blueberry Protein Bar - popular on Amazon - was crammed with 15g of sugar which made up 30 per cent of its ingredients

And a Wild Trail Carrot Cake Fruit Bar was more than two-thirds sugar (37 per cent).  

This website also found The Protein Ball Company's Raspberry Brownie was loaded with 15g, nearly four teaspoons, of sugar in one pack of six balls.

An RX Blueberry Protein Bar - popular on Amazon - was crammed with 15g of sugar which made up 30 per cent of its ingredients.  

Dr Abbi Lulsegged, a consultant physician who specialises in diabetes, said: 'Out of all the major food groups, sugars get absorbed quicker into the blood stream than protein and fats. 

'This rapid arrival of sugar into the blood stream can potentially cause too much insulin, the hormone that reduces blood sugars and prevents diabetes, to be released.

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'This can cause a precipitous drop in blood sugar levels – a condition called reactive hypoglycaemia.

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 19g per day.

Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than

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