What are free sugars?

Free sugars are simple sugars added to foods by the manufacturer or consumer. They are also sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. These are different to those found naturally in foods such as the milk sugar lactose found naturally in milks/ milk products and the fructose the fruit sugar found naturally present in whole fruits.

Become familiar with the different names used for sugar on labels. These are glucose, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup honey, invert sugar, hydrolysed starch and fructose. The higher up on the ingredients list any of these sugars are then the more it contains in the products.
Look for the carbohydrate on the label, and refer to the words ‘of which sugars’ and see how much sugar the item contains per 100g

  • More than 22.5g per 100g is high
  • Less than 5g per 100g is low

For more information on food labels see our Understanding Food Labels Guide