Simple swaps can make a difference

On average, the UK population eats 700g of sugar a week, that’s 140 teaspoons per person. Our intake of added sugar shouldn’t exceed 30 grams per day so it’s clear most of us could do with making some simple swaps, which will make a big difference to how much sugar we are eating.


NHS Better Health gives us some ideas of where we can make changes.



Cereals can often have a lot of sugar hidden inside them so swapping to low sugar options such as plain porridge, wheat biscuits and shredded wheat pillows could save you up to 70g of sugar a week. Try adding fruit if you want to add sweetness to your breakfast.


Main meals

You may not think your dinner is sweet but ready made sauces, soups and meals will often have sugar added to them.

Condiments may be high in sugar, an example is ketchup which has 23g per 100g. Although we eat these in small amounts, over the week they could add up.



Making some swaps from high sugar snacks to a healthier option, such as fruit, unsalted nuts, rice cakes, oatcakes or plain popcorn, will help reduce how much sugar you have.

Even reducing how much you have, such as just one biscuit instead of two will make a big difference over time.



Almost one quarter of the added sugar in our diet comes from the drinks we have. If you take sugar in your hot drinks then you could swap to sweeteners or gradually cut back on the sugar over time.

Swapping to sugar free fizzy drinks can make a big difference. Did you know a bottle of cola contains 17 teaspoons of sugar?

Be aware that we also need to be careful of how much fruit juice and smoothies we drink. Stick to no more than a 150 ml glass each day.



Why not take time to reflect on how much you need these foods. Do you need them every day? Can you make some swaps to lower sugar choices?


There are many foods and drinks which add sugar to our diet, often without us realising it. Taking a look at the food labels can help us make decisions about what we eat which can help us cut back on how much sugar we have. Why not try looking at the ingredient list and using the traffic light system of some of the foods you regularly eat to see where you could make some swaps.


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Simple swaps can make a difference