Brace yourselves, because you're not going to believe the hidden sugar in these household favourites!
It seems you can’t go a day without a shocking sugar story hitting the headlines, with more and more of our family favourites being uncovered as sweet sinners!
We know sugar is bad for us (okay, hardly groundbreaking news), but research into the hidden amounts of sugar in some of our favourite foods, by campaign group Action on Sugar, makes for shocking reading, and could call for firms to reduce the amount of sugar they add to products by 20 to 30 percent within three to five years.
The group, formed to tackle widespread obesity and diabetes in the UK, say that asking manufacturers to make voluntary changes to the levels of sugar in their products has failed previously.
But with as much as the equivalent of 11 teaspoons of sugar found in a small Starbucks caramel Frappuccino with whipped cream (yes, 11!) and eight in a Mars Bar, it’s no wonder the group has stated there’s ‘overwhelming evidence coming out about sugar-sweetened beverages and other sugar consumption’ being linked to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
With the typical Briton consuming 12 teaspoons of sugar a day (some adults can consume as many as 46!) and ten being the maximum intake recommended by the World Health Organisation, this guideline is likely to be halved.
It all sounds pretty terrifying, especially as most of us could be eating and feeding our families more sugar than we realise. So take a look through our gallery of the most shockingly sugar-filled food and drink and make sure you’re clued up about the sweet treats to avoid!
Do you think the government reducing sugar in our food and drink is a good thing? Or do you think we should be able to trust ourselves to regulate what we eat? Let us know in the comment box below!
Calories: 93 Sugar (g): 1.4
The lowest in our shocking sugar gallery, but we were still somewhat surprised to see that a slice of bread could contain even almost half a teaspoon of sugar. That’s nearly one whole teaspoon for a sandwich, before the added calories from the filling!
Calories: 50 Sugar (g): 2.6
Just when you thought salad was healthy, think again! Because as soon as you add just 15ml of Heinz salad cream you can say hello to over half a teaspoon of sugar too.
Calories: 61 Sugar (g): 3.6
Heinz had to pull an advert that marketed these baby snacks as ‘healthy’ as well as amend wording on their website after complaints from health campaigners who questioned the nutritional value of the product. After all, 100g of these little biscuits contain 24g sugar – that’s 6 teaspoons!
Calories: 18 Sugar (g): 4.0
We love our ketchup. A lot. And so do the kids! So it was pretty scary to see that as little as 15ml contains a whole teaspoon of sugar. Multiply that by the amount of things we put ketchup on, and that’s a lot of the sweet stuff!
Calories: 507 Sugar (g): 7.6
Pot Noodles are far from the healthiest thing to be eating, but as well as being high in calories, did you know they were this high in sugar too? There are two teaspoons of sugar in the large curry flavoured Pot Noodle.
Calories: 81 Sugar (g): 8.5
Okay, so you’re not eating Nutella because you think it’s amazing for you, but you might have expected that it was mostly made up of cocoa and hazelnuts, as the jar suggests. However, when you actually look at the label, you’ll discover that it’s more than 50% sugar, with 56.8g sugar in every 100g of spread!
Calories: 186 Sugar (g): 9.0
We’d expect these oat bars to have some sugar in them, and as a treat now and then they’re not too bad. As a daily breakfast option, however, you could be eating more sugar than you realise (before the day has even started!)
Calories: 80 Sugar (g): 13.8
Pasta sauces are a staple in most kitchen cupboards, but did you know that a 200g jar could contain as many as three teaspoons of sugar? And we thought opting for the tomato sauces over the creamy ones was the healthier option!
Calories: 171 Sugar (g): 14.9
Soup for lunch? Tomato should be a safe, healthy option, right? Wrong! There are four (yes four!) teaspoons of sugar in a can of Heinz tomato soup, which seems a lot for a savoury option.
Calories: 65 Sugar (g): 15.0
Sugar in water? Yes, we couldn’t believe it either! Just when you thought you were being healthy by sipping a vitamin drink, think again. Because this vitamin water has a staggering four teaspoons of sugar per bottle!
Calories: 105 Sugar (g): 16.5
Although four teaspoons is a lot for one small packet of popcorn, buying a packet of Butterkist is still better than a bag of the sugar-laden popcorn from the cinema. Better still, a packet of Metcalfe’s Skinny Sweet ‘n Salt popcorn only contains 3.4g sugar.
Calories: 172 Sugar (g): 17.0
It might be an easy option when it comes to a quick breakfast with the kids in the morning, but starting the day with four teaspoons of sugar will only mean your sugar levels will dip dramatically by mid-morning. Not good for you, or the kids!
Calories: 94 Sugar (g): 17.0
When you fancy an iced treat this Summer, maybe think twice before reaching for a Solero if you’re on a diet. Tasty they may be, but four teaspoons of sugar is a lot for one ice lolly!
Calories: 120 Sugar (g): 20.9
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because something is fat-free, it’s sugar-free too. 150g of this yogurt is the same as eating five teaspoons of sugar – a huge amount for a snack we’d usually consider quite healthy!
Calories: 160 Sugar (g): 22.1
While hot chocolate might seem like a good option for a warm drink before bed, the combination of the sweetened powder and milk is like drinking the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar before you drift off – not good for you! Why not try a hot water with lemon before bed instead?
Calories: 420 Sugar (g): 22.1
It’s hard to believe that a savoury dish could have as much as six teaspoons of sugar, but as well as being pretty high in calories that’s exactly how many this ready meal contains.
Calories: 212 Sugar (g): 23.6
Thought you were giving them a healthier treat in their lunchbox? Think again! These Muller Crunch Corners which seem like a fridge saviour, contain a whopping 23.6g of fat per pot – that’s six teaspoons in each!
Calories: 94 Sugar (g): 25
It would be easy to assume that fruit juice must be good for us. But, although natural, most fruit juices contain an alarming amount of sugar. On top of that, scientists in a recent experiment found that the type of sugar found in fruit (known as fructose) can actually make you feel hungrier quicker than glucose – and can even increasing cravings for high-calorie foods.
If you fancy a sweet treat, whole fruit is good for you as it contains much more than just fructose, including fibre, vitamins and minerals which make them a healthy alternative to foods high in added sugars and fat.
Calories: 145 Sugar (g): 26.9
How many of us put extra sugar in our coffee? Well think of the sugar you usually add, and then add another seven teaspoons on top of that. And that’s before you’ve even had your breakfast! Talk about a sugary start to the day…
Calories: 230 Sugar (g): 30.4
We can’t say we were too surprised to see a Mars Bar on a healthy eating naughty list, but we bet you only thought it was their fat content you needed to worry about? A shocking eight teaspoons of sugar goes into a Mars Bar!
Calories: 142 Sugar (g): 35.0
Grabbing a can of drink may not feel like it’s doing your diet much harm (afterall, it’s only a drink?!) but with a huge nine teaspoons of sugar in a regular can of Pepsi, maybe you’ll think twice about picking up a can next time?
Calories: 139 Sugar (g): 35.0
Another sweet can culprit, Coca-Cola is no better in the sugar stakes than Pepsi with a staggering nine teaspoons of sugar too. Too many of these and you’ll have problems with your teeth as well as your waistline!
Calories: 273 Sugar (g): 44.3
This Starbucks caramel Frappuccino contains a jaw-dropping 11 teaspoons of sugar! We knew these were a treat, but we’re still shocked to see just how sugary these iced drinks are. We dread to think how many teaspoons would be in a Venti…