If you're on a mission to cut your sugar intake then you might find yourself cutting out sugary foods like cakes, smoothies, biscuits and more, but the matter of the fact is, you're probably still eating more sugar than you think.

A Spoonful of Sugar

Dr David Unwin, an award-winning general practitioner known for pioneering the low-carb approach in the UK, talks about how he often comes across patients who can’t understand why their diabetes hasn’t gone into remission, even though they have cut out all sugars. He then has to explain that while they may have removed the obvious sugars, like sweets and sodas, they often aren’t aware that starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, digest down into surprisingly high amounts of glucose. 

David realised some time back that many people struggled to visualise the GI and GL charts and began to research what effect certain popular foods had on the bloodstream. To get the message to really sink in, he had the idea of comparing the effect of popular food choices to eating spoons full of sugar.

David's Spoonful of Sugar infographics below has become so widely appreciated in medical circles, that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a government body which provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care, have now formally adopted them. 

When excess sugar enters the bloodstream, our body views it as poison and releases insulin to usher it to our fat stores and too much insulin has an association with cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many more chronic illnesses that we today face in Britain. 

If you're trying to lose weight, then David's chart shows the hidden sugar lurking in carbohydrates. It demonstrates how each food affects blood glucose compared to eating 4g of table sugar. For example, a bowl of 150g of boiled rice is roughly equivalent to ten teaspoons of table sugar.

Spoonful of sugar chart by Dr David Unwin

You can find the original research paper by Dr David Unwin here.