Excess sugar in our diet directly contributes to weight gain, serious illness' such as diabetes, and some cancers.

Unfortunately sugar goes by many different names, making it easy for manufacturers to hide how much sugar is in a certain product. 

Essentially, if you eat anything processed (e.g. not in its natural form) you should be suspicious that sugar has been added. 


How much sugar should you consume each day?

Adults should be consuming less than 7 cubes, or 30 grams of sugar per day (see graphic below).

Most NZ adults are currently consuming twice, and NZ teenagers three times the recommended amount. 

What type of sugars should we be avoiding?

We should be avoiding 'free sugars'. Free sugars are sugars that are added to a product, or the the sugar naturally presents in syrups, fruit juices, and honey.


How can you decrease my sugar intake?

There are now lots of online resources available for those of you wanting to decrease the amount of sugar in your diet.

Some simple tips include:

  • Don't add sugar to breakfast cereals, drinks
  • Drink water as your main drink
  • Decrease the amount of fruit juices and fizzy drinks you consume
  • Change your breakfast - many breakfast cereals and spreads have added sugar. Lower sugar spreads `such as marmite, and oats instead of cereal could be good options.
  • Choose fresh fruit for desert instead of processed deserts
  • Minimise or stop adding sauce to all meals 


If you are interested, here are the 56 most common names for sugar (courtesy of Anna Barnwell)

Basic Simple Sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides):

  1. Dextrose
  2. Fructose
  3. Galactose
  4. Glucose
  5. Lactose
  6. Maltose
  7. Sucrose

Solid or Granulated Sugars:

  1. Beet sugar
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Cane juice crystals
  4. Cane sugar
  5. Castor sugar
  6. Coconut sugar
  7. Confectioner's sugar (aka, powdered sugar)
  8. Corn syrup solids
  9. Crystalline fructose
  10. Date sugar
  11. Demerara sugar
  12. Dextrin
  13. Diastatic malt
  14. Ethyl maltol
  15. Florida crystals
  16. Golden sugar
  17. Glucose syrup solids
  18. Grape sugar
  19. Icing sugar
  20. Maltodextrin
  21. Muscovado sugar
  22. Panela sugar
  23. Raw sugar
  24. Sugar (granulated or table)
  25. Sucanat
  26. Turbinado sugar
  27. Yellow sugar
  28. Muscovado sugar
  29. Panela sugar
  30. Raw sugar
  31. Sugar (granulated or table)
  32. Sucanat
  33. Turbinado sugar
  34. Yellow sugar

Liquid or Syrup Sugars:

  1. Agave Nectar/Syrup
  2. Barley malt
  3. Blackstrap molasses
  4. Brown rice syrup
  5. Buttered sugar/buttercream
  6. Caramel
  7. Carob syrup
  8. Corn syrup
  9. Evaporated cane juice
  10. Fruit juice
  11. Fruit juice concentrate
  12. Golden syrup
  13. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  14. Honey
  15. Invert sugar
  16. Malt syrup
  17. Maple syrup
  18. Molasses
  19. Rice syrup
  20. Refiner's syrup
  21. Sorghum syrup
  22. Treacle