While the latest guidelines indicate that our added daily sugar allowance should be 6 teaspoons or 24 g per day, you might be wondering a couple of things:

  • Where is the sugar in my diet?

  • What does 6 teaspoons of sugar look like in foods containing added sugar?

This article is designed to answer those questions.

Where is the sugar in my diet?

According to the National Health Service UK’s website (1), THIS is where most people’s sugar intake comes from.

Daily Sugar Allowance | Downsize Me

As you can see, the majority of sugars on this list are hidden in packaged foods, and are contained in ‘junk’ or processed foods.

If you want to meet the recommended daily sugar allowance of 6 teaspoons per day, it’s time to start thinking about what you could do differently.

A great way to reduce sugar intake is to find some healthy sugar swaps. Here is a list of 12 sugar swaps that will give you some ideas about where you could reduce the amount of added sugar you currently eat.

Now, let’s get even more specific to illustrate how easy it is to consume your daily sugar allowance of 6 teaspoons, in one sitting.

Your Daily Sugar Allowance – What 6 Tsp Sugar Looks Like

What does 6 teaspoons of sugar look like? Here are 6 foods that contain 6 teaspoons of sugar (2)

Daily Sugar Allowance | Downsize Me

Are you shocked by these examples?

Unfortunately, it’s actually very easy to eat 6 teaspoons of sugar or more per day, especially if you eat commercially made or packaged foods, because it’s hard to see the sugar being added.

How to Work Out Sugar on Food Labels

It’s quite a simple formula:

1 teaspoon of sugar = roughly 4 grams.

So if you are reading food labels, look at the amount of sugar per serve, and divide it by 4 to work out how many teaspoons per serve.

You can use the same formula to work out teaspoons of sugar per 100g of food.

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Daily Sugar Intake

There are several ways you can reduce your ‘added’ sugar intake – and here are 6 easy ways to do it.

  1. Prepare the food at home instead of buying it
  2. Avoid foods that are obviously sugary
  3. Eat small portions of foods that are obviously sugary
  4. Read the label of packaged foods that you buy and choose a brand with the lowest sugar
  5. Buy fresh whole foods instead of canned varieties or mixed varieties
  6. Choose fresh fruit or frozen fruit instead of canned. If you need to buy canned fruit, get it in natural juice instead of syrup.

Where could you start reducing sugar? A pantry audit might help you clear out the bad stuff and get a clean slate.

Let us know in the comments below.


Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.