Food21st May 2015

Hidden Sugar: Just how much is in that biscuit?

James Clarke, Deafblind marathon runner, shares his thoughts about the 'hidden' sugar in foods.

by James Clarke

Oh I do love a nice cup of tea, don't you? While sipping my morning brew recently I thought it might be worth explaining a little about food labels and just how much sugar is actually in foods that people aren't always aware of.



While I’m not yet a qualified nutritional expert - I do love all this stuff and enjoy researching food and nutrition regularly. I'm also hoping one day I can complete an official course and get those certificates too.

 So I’m sure you’ve all seen the labels on every food item (at least in the UK anyway), and you’ll have seen that each of them lists things like energy, carbohydrates, fat, protein, sugar and salt. At this time though I’m going to specifically pick out sugar to take a look at – and the ‘hidden’ sugar we’re all eating!

I’m sure right now there’s a lot of you thinking ‘Yeah yeah, hidden sugar, blah blah - it’s fine, I’m only having a few!’ but I want to elaborate a little why you might actually be eating more sugar than you think you are.

I’m going to use one of my favourite biscuits as an example – the classic Ginger Nut. The whole packet weighs around 250g and yet the nutrition information on the side of the packet only lists how much sugar (and everything else) there is per 100g.

So according the packet, in 100g of biscuits there are 30.8g of sugar, which is roughly the same as 7½ spoons of sugar (as 1 spoon of sugar is 4g). Then remember that amount of sugar is for 100g and our packet is 250g – so the amount of sugar in the whole packet is actually 77g or 19¼ spoons of sugar!

And I know you’re thinking – they’re biscuits, of course there’s sugar in them that’s why I only eat one or two. I think what people tend to do though is to have one or two, and then a little while later have another only one or two, and then a few hours later have another one or two and soon enough you’ve eaten the whole pack of biscuits and more than 19 spoons of sugar!

I’m certainly not trying to tell you to stop eating biscuits – I just believe it’s really important that people have the facts, so you can make those decisions yourself. Just remember when you next go to reach for the biscuit tin – how much sugar is hidden in those – and are you really having just ‘one or two’?

Article by James Clarke

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Food

21st May 2015