- Limit added sugar wherever possible. In general, the sweeter something is, the more you can remove without having a negative taste impact.
- A simple approach to reducing sugar (and calories) is to offer smaller portions. This can be a good strategy for recipes where reducing sugars
- is challenging.
- Look for unsweetened ingredients. For example, choose fruit canned in juice or water instead of heavy syrup.
- Add sugar to beverages only upon request, and offer a single packet of sweetener instead of an unlimited supply. By making unsweetened coffee and tea your standard, you can reduce sugars consumed in drinks.
Be strategic about flavours
- Use flavours that are naturally associated with sweetness and enhance it’s perception. Try pineapple, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, almond, caramel, and lychee.1,2
- Use contrasting flavours to play up the sweetness. Bitterness and sourness decrease sweetness, while low levels of saltiness or umami play it up. Just be careful not to go overboard on saltiness, which can take the focus away from sweetness (think salted caramel).
Focus on your other senses
- Intensify the colour of red foods and drinks to increase the perception of sweetness. In studies, dark red solutions were rated sweeter than light red solutions even when they containedless sugar.3
- Play with the texture of foods to take the focus away from flavour. Chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or hot or cool sauces can create an exciting sensory experience without extra sugar.
- Serve foods and beverages warm instead of cold to increase perceived sweetness since temperatures can affect taste perceptions.4
You can control how much sugar you put in your own recipes, but it can also sneak in from other sources. Here’s how much added sugar is in common ingredients you might use oroffer as condiments on your table. Actual counts may vary depending on serving size and product brand.
|Food||Teaspoons of sugar|
|Chili sauce 15ml||1.5|
|Tomato sauce 125ml||2.5|
|1 sweet roll||1.5|
|Granola 50 grams||3.5|
|Hoisin sauce 30ml||3.5|
|Mandarin oranges in fruit juices||2.5|
|Strwberry yoghurt 125ml||6|
|Sweetened cream 30ml||2.5|
|Rasberry vinaigrette 30ml||1.5|
WHO Guideline: less than 6 teaspoons/day
1. Prescott, 1999
2. Spillane, 2006
3. Johnson and Clydesdale, 1982
4. Green, Heat as a Factor, 1993