If you're trying to reduce your sugar intake, it can be tricky to get your facts straight. There's a lot of information our there about how going
1. "Sugar" isn't the only name for sugar
Make sure you familiarize yourself with other ways to refer to sugar. Some products will not mention sugar as an ingredient but might contain it as an ingredient. Look out for denominations such as: anhydrous dextrose, corn syrup (or HFCS), fructose and maltose.
For a full list of these names and which products tend to contain a variation of sugar as an ingredient, you can refer to this list of names for added sugars created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
2. Sugar-free vs. no added sugar
Unfortunately, what you see is not always what you get when it comes to the claims found on food packages; and obviously, "sugar-free" is not the same as "no added sugars".
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration have their own definition of what these concepts are, and brands must abide by these standars. In Ireland, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute have put together a helpful list of Health authorities approved claims, including:
- Low Sugar = Less than 5g sugar in 100g.
- Sugar Free = No added or naturally occurring sugar.
- No Added Sugar = No extra sugar added.
- Reduced Sugar = At least 25% less sugar than standard product.
- See the full list of approved food claims in Ireland here.
3. Learn about sugar substitutes
Sweetener products like Splenda can act as amazing substitutes for sugar in your food, providing a very similar taste to the real thing. If you fancy cooking yourself, there are extensive resources online on cooking with sugar substitutes, like this massive list of Splenda recipies called "Sweet Swaps".
Always keep in mind that substituting sugar is not a guarantee for a healthier diet. This is a common misconception that has been challenged several times. For example, this Harvard Medical School blog mentions some studies that investigate the possible connection between sugar substitutes and weight gain.
Would you like to find delicious sugar-free cakes, pastries and sweet treats in Dublin? We created a handy map with some of our favourite spots in the city: Where to find sugar-free wedding cakes in Ireland
See the entire list of bakeries offering diabetic-friendly wedding cakes in Ireland, plus pricing options, decorations and sizes in our guide to sugar free wedding cakes in Ireland!