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New recommendations for sugar and fibre by SACN

New recommendations have been made by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.

“It is recommended that the average population intake of dietary fibre for children aged 2 to 5 years should approximate 15g/day, for children aged 5 to 11 years 20g/day, for children aged 11 to 16 years 25 g/day and for adolescents aged 16 to 18 years about 30g/day.” Adults also 30g/day

“It is recommended that the average population intake of free sugars (all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the
manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups
and unsweetened fruit juices. Under this definition lactose when naturally present
in milk and milk products is excluded.) should not exceed 5% of total dietary energy for age groups from 2 years upwards.” SACN report

The sugar recommendations have halved since the previous report. The new recommendation is no more than 7 teaspoons.

Here is my response:

“Detailed reviews of the literature on carbohydrates are essential for setting accurate, evidenced based guidelines for the nation. This report provides such a review and evidence-based recommendations, and is therefore extremely welcome. The updated dietary guidelines reflect how the nation’s diet has changed since the previous recommendations on carbohydrates were made and give much needed clarity on how much consumers should be having.

I welcome the clarity of definition of free sugars and the reduced recommendation as a percentage of energy intake. I also welcome the increase in dietary fibre which will go some way in reducing the incidence of conditions such as bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Based on the recommendations in this report, consumers could consider increasing their consumption of wholegrains, pulses and vegetables to increase their fibre intake. Small steps to increase fibre intake include switching from a sugary cereal to a whole grain cereal like porridge or bran flakes, adding chick peas to your chicken tikka masala and adding a portion of sweetcorn to your evening meal.”

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