"Sugar is bad for you." It’s a statement we hear time and time again, but the notion of a sugar-free lifestyle is for the majority of us, not one worth considering. It’s something people in LA do. It’s for celebrities with live-in chefs. It’s for Gwyneth Paltrow and Gisele. It is, in short, neither plausible nor desirable as a diet-option.
This morning, NHS Chief Simon Stevens announced plans to impose a sugar tax in hospitals to help tackle the “national sugar high” increasingly ruining people’s health, with hopes that by 2020 the tax will have palpably impacted the growing health issues tied in with sugar consumption. Stevens went on to make more radical suggestions outside of the NHS too, such as enforcing food firms to strip sugar out of their products.
What the tax will mean is that hospitals will begin to start charging more for high-sugar drinks and snacks sold in their cafes and vending machines in an effort to discourage staff, patients and visitors from buying them.
Why the sudden hoo-ha? Bad diet has recently overtaken smoking as the biggest single cause of the 40% of lifestyle-linked avoidable illnesses the service treats, and the NHS is buckling under the strain of admittance rates.
While a sugar-free diet isn’t an option for most of us, here are ten foods harbouring surprising amounts of the white stuff that are best avoided or consumed in moderation by those looking to cut back on their sugar intake. And, deep breath…