Sugar is just one of a number of ingredients that have come under attack, such as salt and trans fat. However, WHO pointed out that when it comes to sugar, most people don’t realise how much they’re eating because it’s often hidden in processed foods not considered sweet. For example, one tablespoon of tomato sauce has about 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of sugar and a single can of soft drink has up to 40 grams (10 teaspoons).
“The trouble is, we really do like sugar in a lot of things,” said Kieran Clarke of the University of Oxford, who said the global taste for sugar bordered on an addiction. “Even if you are not just eating lollies and candy, you are probably eating a fair amount of sugar.”
Clarke noted that there’s added sugar even in pasta sauces and bran cereals. She said fruit juices and smoothies were common dietary offenders, because they have very concentrated amounts of sugar without the fiber benefits that come with eating the actual fruit.
Clarke welcomed the new WHO guidelines but said people should also consider getting more exercise to balance out their sweet tooth.
“If you do enough exercise, you can eat almost anything,” she said. “But it’s very hard to avoid large amounts of sugar unless all you’re eating is fruits and vegetables.”