FREESTYLE LIBRE VIDEO
sugar, or low or high carb, high or low fat.
The glycaemic index - being an index - is
easier to quantify (see sidebar).
What also amazed me when looking
into this was the language of sugar. What
is all this nonsense about 'guilt free'? Or
'sugar free' (I'll keep revisiting that in this
article), then there's 'no added sugar' and
'of which sugars' and 'free sugars'.
Too much sugar is bad for anyone, but
as this magazine's focus (and mine too) is
about how people with diabetes navigate
dodgy food labeling, I have to say that
having written this article I am extremely
uncomfortable about the term 'sugar free'.
There is a lot of confusion between 'no
added sugar' and the extremely spurious
claim that a food is 'sugar free'. There is a
basic understanding missing in the world
of food labeling, the fact that any carb will
become a sugar once digested. Many
items labeled sugar free in fact harbor
massive carb counts. I hope that in the
future no such claims of being 'sugar free'
should be possible on any food that has a
carbohydrate in it. A carbohydrate is just
a sugar waiting to happen. Unless all you
do it look at it, it's going to end up as a
sugar in your system (and anyone else's).
And if it's more sugar than you need for
your body's processes, then it will be
turned into fat by your body.
This feature looks particularly at sugar.
In future issues I'll look into sweeteners
and sugar alternatives, as these are just
as murky, misunderstood and misleading.
I'm an avid label reader - I trust none of
the on-packet claims that I read. And it
turns out, I'm not alone. Pressure on the
food and drink industry to curb sugar
content in products has never been so
intense. Furthermore, many more food
categories are likely to come under
scrutiny in the coming months with a
recent announcement from Public Health
England that a process to tackle overall
calorie content in other foods is about to
In September 2017 Impact Research
undertook a survey with 1,449 consumers
in the UK to find out how they felt about
food labelling. The study highlighted a
clear gap in trust between the consumers
and manufacturers showing that food
and drink brands have work to do
before people feel reassured about the
nutritional content of the products they
Only 39% of consumers feel wellinformed about what food and drink
products are best for them. That said,
some categories are making better inroads
than others; 45% of consumers
who bought yoghurt felt well-informed
compared to just 29% in the Ready Meals
There is also a general feeling across
the nation that manufacturers still aren't
doing everything they can to improve the
nutritional content of their products.
Just 17% felt that manufacturers care
about improving the nutritional content
of their products to make them healthier,