Reduce your sugar intake during National Nutrition Week

Department of Health

This is NationalNutrition Week and this year the Central Australia Health Services Outreach PublicHealth Nutritionists and Oral Health Services are teaming up to encourageTerritorians to reduce their intake of added sugars.

Whilst some corefoods and beverages contain natural sugars, the vast majority of sugars in theAustralian diet currently come from sugars added to processed foods and drinks.

Australianscurrently consume an average of 52 grams of added sugars per day, which isequivalent to 12 teaspoons of sugar. Just over half of the sugar in our diets(52 per cent) comes from sugary drinks, including soft drinks, sports drinks,energy drinks, juice drinks and cordials.

The Northern Territory holds the titlefor the nations highest consumption of soft drinks, with 1 in 3 Territorians(33 per cent) reporting drinking them.

Reducing ourintake of added sugars can help us maintain strong healthy teeth and a winningsmile, as well as helping to keep our waistlines in check and assist inpreventing and managing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or oralhealth associated diseases.

Drinking just onecan of soft drink a day can lead to a weight gain of almost seven kilogramsover the course of a year, Public Health Nutritionist Amanda Hill said.

The simplestthing we can do to drastically reduce our sugar intake is to swap out sugarydrinks and make water the main drink for us and our families. This helpsreinforce water as the ultimate thirst quencher and stops sugary drinks frombecoming the norm.

Healthy habitsstart early with children developing lifelong taste preferences from infancy.Sadly, Aussie kids are getting a taste for sweet things from an early age, withtwo-three-year-olds consuming an average of 40 grams (or 10 teaspoons) of sugarper day.

Its important to introduce water as the maindrink for our little ones from the get go. Kids under two years of age shouldnot be given sweet drinks, and that includes fruit juice. Its vital to rolemodel healthy behaviours as kids are always watching and learning from thepeople around them.

Public HealthNutritionists and Oral Health Promotions Officer from Central Australia HealthService will be running a roadshow to remote communities in the region duringNational Nutrition Week to promote ways to reduce sugar intake in schools,community development programs and remote stores.

Here are our top 3 ways to cut some addedsugar from your day:

1. Choose water!Avoid sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks andcordials.

2. Choose wholefoods and minimally processed foods for snacks, such as fresh fruit, veggiesticks with dip, wholegrain crackers with tomato and cheese, boiled eggs,natural yoghurt, or a handful of dry roasted nuts.

3. Look for sugar onthe labels of packaged foods if sugar is listed in the first threeingredients or the product contains >15g of sugar per 100g, look for analternative choice.

National Nutrition Week runsfrom 13-19 October 2019.

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