How Much Sugar Is In Your Food?

How Much Sugar Is In Your Food?

We know that eating sugar is linked to weight gain, but a new study published in The BMJ linked consuming too with an increased risk of 45 different health issues. It was a significant study which looked at 73 meta-analyses (existing reviews of data) and 8601 unique articles. 

As well as the obvious concerns like obesity and diabetes, sugar was also linked to heart disease, several types of cancer and even mental health issues like depression. 

The researchers recommended a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar per day which is a lot less than many people are consuming. 


Not only is it strongly linked to obesity and a wide range of health issues, eating too much sugar affects our health and wellbeing on a day to day basis. It negatively impacts blood sugar levels, causing fluctuations that result in energy dips, issues concentrating, food cravings and mood swings. Many of the clients who come to see us for support with weight loss are also experiencing these symptoms.

It’s recommended that children under four consume no added sugar at all. But any parent will tell you that high sugar foods are everywhere. Children are exposed to them from a young age. They’re at play groups, parties and in nurseries and school meals. Giving children these foods is setting them up for sickness later in life. It’s that simple. 


It’s recommended that adults limit their intake to a maximum of six teaspoons per day. (This is still more than is optimal and too much for anyone who wants to lose weight). To put this into context, that’s the amount found in just nine chocolate Mini Eggs. A 90g bag (which many of us, myself included, could put away in one sitting) contains 15 teaspoons. Children should be eating much less.

Most of us know that chocolate, cakes and sweets are high in sugar. But what we are less aware of is just how much sugar is hiding in seemingly healthy foods. Foods that commonly catch people out include breakfast cereals, healthy-looking snack bars, coffee shop coffees and sauces like stir fry sauces. Not long ago I picked up a carton of organic oat milk that contained the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar in the one litre carton! I had to triple check my calculations. 


Most of us weren’t taught how to read a food label at school and have little or no idea of how to interpret the nutrition information on the back of food packaging. But it’s an important thing to know. It’s something we teach our clients so that they can make informed choices. We can’t rely on how healthy a food might look from the front of the pack – marketing can be very misleading.  

If you want to cut down your sugar intake, the first step is to get clear on how much you’re currently eating and where it’s coming from. Here’s how to know how much sugar is in your food:


Check the ‘nutrition information’ on the back of the label. If the food doesn’t have a label then look it up on the Nutrition Data website.


Find the ‘carbohydrates of which sugars’ row and find out how much sugar your food contains per 100g. The NHS states that anything over 22.5g of sugars per 100g is a high sugar food (in my opinion this is very high). Anything under 5g per 100g is low. Knowing this will help you see at a glance if a food is high in sugar.


To work out more specifically how much sugar you are consuming, you’ll need to know how much of the food you are eating. Don’t be fooled by how much the label says is a serving. Often what you might consume in one sitting is much more than the label states as a serving!


Once you know the quantity of the food you’re eating you can work out how much sugar is in your serving. Take the amount of sugar per 100g and multiply by the amount you’re consuming. For example, if you’re eating 200g of the food, multiply the amount of sugar in 100g by 2. If you’re eating 50g, multiply by 0.5.

That’s not to imply you weigh everything you eat. Often you can simply look at how many grams are in the whole packet and make an educated guess based on what proportion of the packet you’re eating. You can always weigh odd items of food to get a better idea of what things weigh which will make it easier to guess food weights in future.


Once you know how many grams, divide by four to give the amount in teaspoons. This makes it much more real. You should be aiming to keep your intake under six teaspoons per day. The less, the better.

The more we can cook our own food from scratch using single ingredient foods, the easier it is to avoid hidden sugars. 


  • 100g Mars Bar contains 57g sugar (so you already know this is double the amount that’s considered ‘high’ by the NHS!)
  • A Mars Bar is 53g
  • Assuming you’re eating the whole bar, multiply 57 by 0.53 to give 30.21g
  • Divided by 4 to figure out how much this is in teaspoons = 7.55.
  • Now you know that your Mars Bar contains seven and a half teaspoons of sugar.


Knowing that you should be eating less sugar is one thing. Putting it into practice is quite another – cutting down can be easier said than done. Partly because it’s everywhere, partly because it can be addictive. Food addiction is real. It’s not uncommon and it’s something we see often in clinic.

If you feel like you’re addicted to sugar, or you regularly experience food cravings, it’s a sign that your body isn’t getting what it needs. Cravings and overwhelming urges to eat certain foods are not normal and you don’t have to accept them. If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy, balanced diet because you’re at the mercy of sugar cravings, we can help. You can click this link to book a complimentary call today. We can talk through your challenges and identify the best way for you to overcome them once and for all.



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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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