8 tips for reducing sugar in your diet

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 04 Jan, 2017

There's no official figure, but UK labelling uses a guideline (target) of 90g per day based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet, which is 18% of total calories from all sugars – added AND naturally occurring – this is the target Nutracheck uses. What's most important is the SOURCE of sugar in your diet.

We should be trying to get most from foods with naturally occurring sugars, not added. Sugars within foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk come with a whole host of other nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Try the following...

Tip 1.

Switch to sweetener in tea & coffee (or cut out sugar altogether if you can)

Tip 2.

Opt for no added sugar soft drinks or just stick to water

Tip 3.

Limit your intake of high sugar foods such as sweets, chocolate and cakes

Tip 4.

Choose lower sugar cereals such as Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and porridge – add fresh fruit for sweetness

Tip 5.

Choose unflavoured yogurts and add fresh fruit for taste

Tip 6.

Check the label on readymade meals, sauces and soups for unexpected sugars

Tip 7.

Aim to get your sweet tastes from fruits, vegetables and milk sugars e.g. yogurt, to get added nutritional benefits

Tip 8.

Limit portion size and frequency of dried fruit – it contains natural sugar, but as it is dried, it's a condensed source

Sugar in your diet should come mostly from natural sugars in food, try to limit added sugars...

Foods with natural sugars Foods with added sugars

Fresh fruit










Sugary cereals




Sugary drinks


Some sauces

Note! Some foods may contain a combination of natural and added sugars, such as flavoured yogurts, cereals with added fruit and ready meals.

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.