Sugar in focus

How much sugar is OK to include in our diet?
Learn more
  • Updated:13 Sep 2005



What is sugar?

  • Most of us probably think of cane sugar (sucrose) when someone says ‘sugar’. We can buy white, brown, raw and caster sugar, but all are essentially sucrose.
  • There are also other types of sugar in the foods we eat. The main sugar in fruit is fructose; in milk, lactose; and other sugars in food include glucose and maltose.
  • All have the same amount of kilojoules and energy.
  • All these types of sugar may be listed separately in the ingredient list of a food, but if you look at the nutrient panel the total amount will be given under ‘sugars’.
  • Honey is a solution of sugars and it’s nutritionally similar to other sugars.

Did you know?

  • Sugar isn’t linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer or hyperactivity.
  • However, it can play a role in tooth decay, and adds energy (kilojoules/calories) without any other nutrition. Heavy consumers of sugar, who may eat sugary foods instead of more nutritious ones, could end up missing out on some of the nutrients they need for a healthy diet.
  • There’s a vigorous debate about the possible role of sugar-sweetened drinks in obesity, particularly in kids.

Please note: this information was current as of September 2005 but is still a useful guide today.



Sign up to our free

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.