Christmas is such an exciting time of year. It is a time for family, bright lights, decorations, Santa Claus and of course for food! Rich delicious foods are a huge part of the traditional Irish Christmas, from Christmas cake to tins of sweets being passed around
These indulgent treats unfortunately contain quite an amount of free sugars. It is possible however by being sugar smart with your food choices to enjoy a little of what we fancy.
The World Health Organisation recommends you should have no more than 10-14 teaspoons of sugar a day.
Be Sugar Smart
- Save your selection boxes and tins of sweets- they will last into January and don’t need to be eaten all at once.
- Stick with sugar free or diet drinks as much as possible. Keep fresh fruit juice to a small glass taken with a meal as it contains free sugars.
- Love the Christmas fruit and veg! Fruit salad, melon, satsumas, parsnips, carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, broccoli and dried fruit (only a small handful). Make sure you have your share of these too over Christmas not just crisps, chocolate and cake!
- Take some exercise to walk off the large meals and puddings. Save the DVD’s and computer games until its dark and get outside when you can.
- Be careful of festive drinks on offer at the coffee shop. While they might warm you up on these cold winter days, many can be high in free sugars. A small sticky toffee latte can contain up 9.5 tsp of sugar and a small caramel fudge hot chocolate can contain up to 12tsp. For more advice on how to stay sugar smart at the coffee shop click here.
Being Sugar Smart allows you to make better choices for your overall health. Understanding food labels is the ultimate tool to help you recognise how much free sugar you and your family are consuming. Download our guide to Understanding Food Labels now. Other useful resources include our Supermarket Shopping Guide and our healthy eating recipes section. Check out these resources and start to make the small simple steps to becoming Sugar Smart today.
Small changes matter – making a few changes to the way you eat and drink can make a big difference to your health over time.
Remember, high intakes of free sugars are associated with type 2 diabetes, dental decay, obesity and increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and cancers.