14-Day Sugar Challenge starts 7th September

The 14-Day Sugar Challenge is back…

Have you put on pounds since lockdown? We’re here to help you #KickSugar the easy way. No pills, shakes, powders or exercise required! Our next challenge starts on Monday 7th September, and we want you to join us!

Did you know? The 14-day sugar challenge has been put together to help you curb cravings and re-calibrate your taste buds whilst enjoying a wide variety of tasty food. The challenge has been put together by a professional team of nutritionists, dentists, TV chefs, GP’s and neuroscientists.


This challenge is for you if:

• You’ve tried to kick sugar in the past . . . and failed.

• You keep getting dental cavities.

• It seems you just can’t do it on your own.


14 Day Sugar Challenge


What can I expect from the 14-day sugar challenge??

• Preparation – How to prepare your home and kitchen for the 14-day sugar challenge.

• Exclusive Facebook Community to help keep you motivated and moving forward.

• Daily messages of support from the Rewards Project Team.

• Access – Experts to get all your sugar questions answered.

• You’ll start – Feeling healthier, have more energy.

• Reawaken – Your taste buds and start enjoying food with new enhanced flavours and experiences.



Here’s what you’ll get when you join the 14-day sugar challenge

•  Kick Sugar Cookbook with an RRP of £20.

•  Over 3.5 hours of unseen Video interviews with: Award winning Dentist James Goolnik being interviewed by Michael Collins for the annual Quit Sugar summit talking sugar and oral health.

•  TV Chef Giancarlo Caldesi talking about flavour, taste and how to cook without using sugar.

•  Nutritionist Jenny Phillips talking about what sugar does to our bodies and how to have fun again in the kitchen.

•  Personal trainer PMac talks about consistency and how to keep on track when you are coming off sugar.

•  GP Dr Joanne McCormack talking about Diabetes and how to prevent it. Get off medication and regain your health again.

•  Dr Lynda Shaw discussing habits, motivation and how to keep on track.

•  Daily videos for tips and encouragement.

•  Private Facebook community.

Keeping kids busy at home

During these uncertain times that surround the Coronavirus outbreak, you may be at home with the children after the government announced school closures across the UK. Now is the time to take a look what fun activities you can do at home with them.

We want to let you know that we are here for you and will offer our tips and advice as much as we possibly can. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share them on our Facebook page here.

Turn them into your office assistant

Are you currently working from home? Why not take some of your office supplies and pop them in a small briefcase and tell your child to ‘work quietly’ nearby as your office assistant. You could fill the briefcase with pens, pencils, markers, stickers, a notepad, and an old calculator.


If you’re self-isolating or working from home, try downloading some fun picture books online or through Amazon Kindle. There are so many to choose from, including colourful animal books, busy books and fairy tales. If possible, we recommend purchasing E-books from independent businesses to help them stay afloat through the coronavirus pandemic.

Make homemade face masks

This is a fun one that we have recommended before. Mash up bananas or avocados with honey and other natural ingredients to make your own healthy DIY face masks. We found some great ideas here. This is a fun one for all the family, just remember to have your cleaning products at the ready for the aftermath!

Treat them to an audio-book

It can be hard sometimes to sit down and read a book with your children, especially if they are excitable and restless. We recommend downloading an audio book for them. You can tell them that someone special is going to read them a story. You can find and download audio books on Amazon. Simply download the Audible app to get started.

Cardboard creations

Simple, but a LOT of fun. If you have any old cardboard or cardboard boxes lying around, sit down and create some cardboard creations with them. You could construct a house, bus or even a car out of your card. Don’t forget to use safe craft scissors and always supervise your children when cutting the card.


If you have a garden, why not get your children to pop on their wellies and gardening gloves and suggest they could be a gardener’s helper for the afternoon? You can get your children to help you weed the garden and sweep up any twigs and leaves. Don’t forget to reward them for their efforts with a sticker or non-food related treat. You can read more about alternative rewards here.

Build a fort

This is an all-time favourite that never fails to keep them busy. Get involved and help them create a fort from cushions, blankets, covers and anything you can find around the house. It’s a great idea to create the fort somewhere other than their bedroom, making it even more exciting for them. This leads us to our last tip of the day…

Have a movie night

Once you’ve built your fort, why not sit down and relax with the kids and treat them to a movie night. Get them to pick some of their favourite films and let them watch it from their newly made fort! Don’t forget comfy warm pajamas and a cup of warm milk to send them off to sleep.

Rewards for Adults

Rewarding yourself as an adult may sound simple, but for many of us, we tend to reach for food-based treats first. Have you noticed how when you feel down you instantly think about chocolate or ice cream?

Society has drummed it into our minds that these things are what we need when we feel down or to help celebrate with.

The good news is that there are hundreds of healthy, non-food alternatives that you can use as rewards. It’s just a matter of spreading the word and implementing them regularly. You’ll soon see an improvement in your health too.

Take a look at these simple ideas below and get inspired!

At home

  • Treat yourself to a movie night with your friends/family.
  • Read a book from your wish list.
  • Enjoy a hot bubble bath.
  • Host a games night.
  • Connect with an old friend.
  • Relax and have a lie-in.
  • Re-organise your wardrobe. Then give your unwanted items to charity.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Create an at-home spa treatment – create salt scrubs and face masks with natural ingredients. You can find some great ideas here.
  • Sign up for your favourite subscription box.
  • Take a guilt-free nap.



  • Go for a walk in nature.
  • Take your dog for a walk or walk a friend/family members dog.
  • Head to a yoga or meditation class.
  • Spend time tidying up the garden.
  • Take up a new sport or hobby.
  • Have a picnic with family in your local park.
  • Visit an art gallery or museum.
  • Go to the cinema, opera or theatre. You can get tickets from just £15.
  • Book a day out in the City.


At work

  • Praise yourself!
  • Make yourself a nice hot drink without sugar or sweeteners.
  • Spend your lunch break with a work colleague.
  • Go for a refreshing walk on your lunch break.


Remember: The more you reward yourself with non-food rewards, the less sugar you’ll consume, meaning you’ll reawaken your taste buds and boost your health.

Find out more about how you can reduce your sugar cravings by clicking here.

Can you give up chocolate?

Are you ready to kick sugar and give up chocolate this March?

1st March marks the start of Dechox month, a whole month dedicated to giving up the sweet stuff. Anything containing cocoa is off limits; from the sprinkles on your cappuccino to that chocolate bar.

How often do you eat chocolate? Once a week? Every day? You’ll be shocked to know that the average Brit spends more than £325 on chocolate every year. Recent statistics also show that we eat an average of 187 chocolate bars a year.

As adults, the maximum daily intake for added sugars is 30g. This is the equivalent of 7 teaspoons. Some of the worst offenders available in supermarkets contain your recommended daily intake in just ONE bar.

Take a look at some of Britain’s popular chocolate bars containing the most sugar below.

Mars (51g)

Mars Bar

Mars bars currently contain 30.5g sugar. That’s more than your recommended daily intake. This is the equivalent of eating 2.4 Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donuts.

Double Decker (54.5g)

Double Decker

The popular Double Decker contains a shocking 29.5g sugar. Approx. 7.5 teaspoons.

Twix (58g – Both fingers)


Another favourite is Twix, which contains 28g of sugar.

If you’re looking to cut down on your chocolate consumption and watch your sugar intake, then we recommend looking at alternative low sugar choices. All types of chocolate will affect your teeth and health if eaten too regularly, but reading labels carefully will help when it comes to cutting down on sugar. We can help you swap to chocolate bars that are better for your health.

Keep an eye on the ingredients

Have you ever picked up a chocolate bar and noticed it’s advertised as ‘Low Sugar’ or ‘No Added Sugar?’ Make sure you check the labels, as most of the time the main ingredient in low sugar chocolate bars is an artificial sweetener. These artificial sweeteners can be as bad as sugar and can wreak havoc on your digestive system if eaten in large quantities. They are just as sweet and fuel your sweet cravings and also make you feel hungry afterwards.

Artificial sweeteners go by many names, including xylitol, glucose syrup, corn syrup, sucralose, sorbitol, fructose and many more.

 It’s not just chocolate bars you should look out for. Dechox month means cutting out anything containing cocoa. Do you know how much sugar is in a regular jar of Nutella?

Take a look at this diagram below to see what you’re really consuming…

Nutella Diagram

Craving chocolate? Try these tasty chocolate swaps:

  • A handful of fresh berries
  • Plain popcorn
  • Whole fruits such as oranges and peaches
  • Yoghurt
  • A handful of almonds


If you would like to find out more about Dechox month, our friends at the British Heart Foundation can tell you more here.

A dentist over at Bow Lane Dental group has also put together a helpful blog called ‘Is chocolate good for you?’ which you can read here.

Kick Sugar this Valentine’s Day

Are you or your partner currently kicking sugar from your diet? With a little help from the Rewards Project, you can enjoy a low sugar Valentine’s Day that’s just as special!


Dining out

Did you know, most restaurants are happy to cook you a low-sugar option if you request it? It can be hard to give in to temptation whilst looking at meals full of sugary sauces or desserts, but you’ll feel great for saying no to those sugar-laden foods. Instead, why not share a cheese board, or opt for a fruit salad?

If you know where you’re heading for dinner, make sure to plan ahead and check the menu before you get there. This will save you lots of time and prevent you from feeling rushed at the dinner table!

More tips for dining out whilst kicking sugar:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Try to avoid white bread/white rice/white potato/white pasta
  • Keep an eye on dressings and sauces



If your partner simply can’t resist Chocolates, opt for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a lot less sugar and added health benefits. We suggest choosing an 85% cocoa bar or higher. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the lower the sugar content.

Dark chocolate is also full of anti-oxidants and will also boost your partners mood by producing endorphins, a chemical responsible for creating feelings of pleasure.


Non-food gift ideas

How about being more thoughtful. Here is a list of non-food gifts that will last longer than the box of chocolates:

  • A personalised photo frames
  • Bouquet of roses
  • A meaningful Valentine’s Day card
  • A hand written love letter
  • Tickets to their favourite show
  • A couples massage
  • A fitness class
  • Do the chores around the house
  • A lie in (if you have kids)
  • A book from their favourite author


Staying in this year?

If you and your partner are having a cosy night in this year, why not make it even more romantic and cook a delicious, low-sugar recipe together from our Kick Sugar cookbook. There’s nothing better than a candle lit feast with your loved one.

The Kick Sugar cookbook is filled with easy, fuss-free recipes that will improve your health and re-calibrate your taste-buds. You and your partner will be spoilt for choice once you’ve seen the options.

Kick Sugar Cookbook

Get your copy of Kick Sugar here.


Cooking course success!

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended our very first charity cooking course ‘Kick Sugar, Feel Great!’ which took place at La Cucina Caldesi on Monday 20th January.

Kick Sugar author James Goolnik set up the evening alongside TV chef Giancarlo Caldesi and nutritionist Jenny Phillips for an evening of delicious, low sugar recipes from the Kick Sugar cookbook, along with a Q&A session.

Italian chef Giancarlo Caldesi showed us seven ways to cook vegetables, along with healthy dishes such as Minestrone soup, aubergine parmigiana, tuna poke bowls, stir-fry vegetables, rice pudding and more.

Just a few of the recipes created on the night:


It was great to see so many of you asking questions about sugar and its effects on the body, healthier alternatives and cooking methods that will prevent your blood sugar from spiking.


Feedback from our first cooking course:

“I absolutely loved the practical and social element of this course. It was pitched at the right level for a mixed group.” – Sahil Patel

“We felt very lucky to have met the people behind the Kick Sugar cookbook. We also found it very interesting to see the different ways of cooking vegetables, especially the mushrooms and aubergines.” – Marian & Eileen

“A great venue, a fun evening and well hosted. It was very inspiring and I learnt a lot of useful tips.” – Dan Hegarty


Would you like to attend our Kick Sugar cooking demonstration in February and have dinner with James and Giancarlo?

TUTORS: Giancarlo Caldesi & James Goolnik

DATE: Monday 24th February 2020

TIME: 6.30pm – 9.30pm

LOCATION: La Cucina Caldesi – Marylebone, London

PRICE: £50


This intimate cooking demonstration guides you through how to cook a 3-course feast with recipes from the new Kick Sugar cookbook. Designed for the busy cook it will help and inspire you on the road to cooking with less sugar and give you confidence ahead of the 14-day Kick Sugar challenge!

Together with Giancarlo and James you will watch the meal being prepared, cooked and get tips from a professional chef. Then you sit down to eat!


What’s included?

.               Cooking demonstrations

.               A three-course meal (dishes prepared during the class)

.               Drinks with the meal (hot drinks, water and soft drinks in keeping with our low sugar focus)

.               A signed copy of the new Kick Sugar cookbook (RRP £20)

.               Answer your food and cooking questions with Giancarlo Caldesi and James Goolnik

5 Ways to Reduce Sugar Cravings with Jenny Phillips

5 ways to reduce sugar cravings with Jenny Phillips


We’ve teamed up with registered Nutritional Therapist Jenny Phillips to bring you some helpful tips on how to reduce your sugar cravings. Jenny offers retreats and workshops to help you kick the sugar habit whilst filling up on delicious foods and exercising. Bliss! Read more at https://www.inspirednutrition.co.uk/


So, you’ve decided to cut down your sugar intake – well done you! Remember that your taste buds change really quickly, studies show if you keep off the sweet stuff for just 6 days then sugar cravings dramatically recede or stop.

Before even thinking about strategies though, reflect on your current diet and make sure that you are eating good food regularly. For most people 3 meals a day is a good start point, no snacks! If those compulsive feelings for food come between meals then here are tips to make your transition easier.


Drink more water

Often our perception of hunger is actually thirst and can resolve by simply drinking a glass of water.  In a study of overweight ladies who increased their water intake by 1.5l per day, improvements were seen in weight loss, body fat reduction and also reduced hunger.

Though the mechanism for this is not fully understood, there is evidence that increased water intake activates the sympathetic nervous system (you feel calmer) and increases resting metabolism by up to 30%. Have a jug or a sports bottle to hand, and also consider a cup of hot water as an alternative to tea or coffee to improve your hydration.


Avoid artificial sweeteners

One reason that you might be cutting sugar is to lose weight, and it may be tempting to think that cutting calories with ‘diet’ products and artificial sweeteners will be helpful. However, sweeteners do not reduce your appetite. Any small upside in calories saved can be quickly wiped out if accompanied, or followed, by a binge. This is probably why a meta-analysis of studies into sweetener consumption shows a nil to modest reduction in weight.

Sweeteners also prolong your craving for sweet tastes rather than allowing you to break free. So instead choose low sugar but tasty and nutritious desserts or cakes and enjoy them in moderation. We challenge you not to be impressed with the chocolate cake recipe in our Rewards cookbook!


Get more sleep

Here’s the dilemma. When you’re tired you crave a quick sugar fix, yet sugary treats end up making you feel even more tired. If you’re not sleeping well then this may be familiar ground for you.  Lack of sleep is known to upregulate the part of the brain involved in food cravings and reward.

When you bite into a sugary chocolate bar, cake or biscuit, you get a pretty instant rush of sugar into your blood stream which makes you feel a little better, for a moment. But then your insulin levels quickly rise and send sugar levels crashing back down, leaving you tired, listless and fed up. This is a protection mechanism, as high sugar levels wreck damage on your body. Your cravings get worse and before you know it you’ve eaten the whole packet of biscuits.

So, a good night’s sleep can help you to be more in control and make better choices. Simple tips are to consciously plan your bedtime and avoid stimulating activity just before – avoid using technology for an hour before bed. Make your bed comfortable and adjust the covers to be the right temperature. Take a leisurely bath in the evening with lavender and some bath salts containing magnesium. If possible, aim for at least 8 hours every night.


Reduce stress levels

Many of us reach for sugary treats when we feel stressed and there is a good reason for this. Sugar boosts our dopamine levels, a hormone involved in our feelings of reward and motivation. In fact, brain scans show that sugar ‘lights up’ or activates the same parts of the brain as recreational drugs.

The trouble is that the feeling is not sustained, and we crave more and more sugar with negative effects on our health and energy levels.

The good news is that there are alternative ways to handle your stress. One is to take a few moments out and focus on your breathing. When we’re stressed, we shallow breathe – instead taking long, slower breaths help your body to calm down. Yoga is particularly helpful in rebalancing stress levels, reducing cortisol levels (a stress hormone). It helps by improving blood pressure and reducing resting heart rate. Also consider meditation; there are lots of resources online (such as Headspace) or you may find groups or classes locally.


Get more exercise

After exercise, we tend to feel more victorious and positive about working towards our goals, meaning we won’t want to get home and undo our hard work. Exercise inspires us to be healthier and changes our behavior towards sugar-laden food. The more you exercise, the more you’ll feel like this, meaning you’ll be reducing your sugar consumption with ease.

If you like the community spirit then Park runs might be worth checking out locally. Taking place across the UK every Saturday morning, you can walk, jog or run a 5km circuit with hundreds of others. And if 5k seems impossible now, try downloading the ‘couch to 5k app’ – with small progress over a period of time, what once felt impossible can become a reality.


Take the quiz

Sugar Quiz Image

So, how sweet are you? Take our free Sugar Quiz to see how well you’re doing with your sugar cravings by clicking on the link below…


Learn to cook a healthy feast with a celebrity chef

Want to learn to cook a healthy, delicious feast with a celebrity chef?

To celebrate the launch of our charity cookbook Kick Sugar, we’ve arranged a private cooking course where you’ll learn to cook with TV chef Giancarlo Caldesi and Kick Sugar author James Goolnik.


TUTORS: Giancarlo Caldesi & James Goolnik
DATE: Monday 20th January 2020
TIME: 6.00pm – 10.00pm
LOCATION: La Cucina Caldesi – 4 Cross Keys Cl, Marylebone, London W1U 2DG
PRICE: £80 per person

This intimate, hands-on course guides you through how to cook a three-course feast with recipes from the new Kick Sugar cookbook. Designed for the busy cook, it will help and inspire you on the road to cooking with less sugar. Not only this, it will give you confidence ahead of the 14-day Kick Sugar challenge! The Kick Sugar recipes are great fun for all the family too!


Together with Giancarlo and James you will cook starters, followed by a seasonal main course and a side vegetable dish, and a fabulous dessert. Think delicious minestrone soup, tuna poke bowl, Asian salad, lemon chicken and coconut rice pudding. You’ll also learn the seven ways to cook vegetables.

You’ll find with our full menus there is something for everyone. Be prepared to be surprised at the dishes you can create in no time at all thanks to the Kick Sugar cookbook!


What’s included?

  • A combination of hands-on cooking & demonstrations
  • A three-course meal (dishes prepared during the class)
  • 2 drinks per person with the meal (water and soft drinks in keeping with our low sugar focus)
  • A signed copy of the new Kick Sugar cookbook (RRP £20)
  • Answer your food and cooking questions with Giancarlo Caldesi and James Goolnik


Don’t forget, spaces are limited and going fast! Book in your space before it’s too late by emailing James at james@rewardsproject.org along with any allergies and intolerances.

Low Sugar Christmas Swaps

With the festive season so near, it’s a time where a lot of us are already starting to get ideas on what we want around the Christmas table, including after dinner snacks and what we can stock the cupboards with.

Take a look at some of your favourite high street Christmas snacks and see what healthy alternatives you can make that are still fun and festive for all the family.


Black Forest Gateau vs. Mixed Berries and Yoghurt

Black forest gateau is a popular desert choice at Christmas time, but it can be full of added sugars (not to mention the cream or ice cream that can be added to the serving). The popular black forest gateau cake from M&S contains 27.5g of sugar per 100g.

If you fancy a sweet, berry-inspired treat, why not prepare fresh mixed berries such as cherries, raspberries and strawberries and top with yummy Greek Yoghurt which contains just 5g sugar. That’s over 22g of LESS added sugar than the sugar-laden cake slice.


Yule Log vs. Chocolate Satsumas

This year’s Classic Yule Log from Tesco serves 10, but it is crammed with 35.2g of sugar per 100g. If you’re looking for something chocolatey, why not try Dark Chocolate covered satsuma slices.

Melt 25g of Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate and dip your satsuma slices in for a much healthier snack. This Christmas alternative will contain a much lower 15.7g sugar and still satisfy your sweet tooth.


Supermarket Cranberry Sauce vs. Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Shop bought Cranberry Sauce is loaded with added sugar and even artificial sweeteners.  For example, 1 teaspoon (15g) of the popular cranberry sauce from Ocean Spray packs a whopping 5g of sugar.

Cranberry Sauce

You can make a healthy, low-sugar cranberry sauce with just a couple of ingredients:

You’ll need:
  • 100ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
  • 250g pack cranberries (frozen or fresh)

Firstly, pour orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until they are tender but still holding their shape. This will take about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries or 8-10 mins if using fresh ones. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Note: The sauce will keep in the fridge for 1 week. On the day, bring to room temperature before serving


Cheese & Onion Crackers vs. Brie & Grapes

Now, these two might sound very similar, and in some ways, they are. But, it’s all about what you team with your Christmas cheese. With cheese crackers, many people forget that the crackers themselves contain added sugars as well as the sweet chutney you may slather on the top too.

We recommended opting for a healthier alternative which means choosing a piece of your favourite cheese from the cheese board and teaming it with delicious, healthy grapes. A few bites will leave you feeling satisfied and you’ll feel better in yourself too!

Let’s calculate the sugar intake using some high-street favourites to give you a better idea…

Cheese & Onion cracker (1 Serving)
  • 1 Jacobs Cracker
  • 1 tbsp classic onion chutney
  • 1 tbsp Boursin cheese (garlic and herb flavour)

Total sugars: 17g


Cheese & Grapes (1 Serving)
  • 1 large slice Brie (50g)
  • 4 green grapes (20g)

Total sugars: 17g



Spiced Latte vs. Herbal Tea

Love a spiced latte from your favourite high-street coffee chain? It can be shocking when you see how much sugar is in some of your festive favourites, with some weighing in at around 50g of sugar per cup!

Did you know the Christmas Mint Hot Chocolate from Pret et Manger contains a staggering 50.1g of sugar – the equivalent of TWENTY biscuits! Swap your hot chocolate for a flavoured Mint Choc herbal tea from Teapigs. The herbal tea only contains just sugar traces. The perfect alternative with the same flavour!

What low-sugar alternatives do you choose during the festive season? We would love to share your ideas with our supporters. Email us on info@rewardsproject.org 


Ready to KICK SUGAR?

Our charity cookbook Kick Sugar will be launching in January 2020 and you can find out more about what’s in the cookbook and the launch date by visiting www.kicksugar.co.uk.


Enjoy a low sugar Christmas

With so many sweet, addictive treats hitting the shelves in the run up to Christmas, it can be hard to stay focused and keep motivated towards the end of the year.  So, we thought we’d put together a few helpful tips on how you can enjoy a low-sugar Christmas.


Avoid festive hot drinks

Whether you’re Christmas shopping with friends or on your lunch break at work, avoid ordering that Eggnog Latte or Black Forest Hot Chocolate. Nearly all festive hot drinks on our high street menus are packed with more than the average recommended daily intake for adults. Our friends Action on Sugar carried out a survey that may be useful for you. You can read it here.

The guidance for an adult is not to exceed 30g of added sugar per day, and some of these festive-flavoured drinks contain a staggering 50g! That’s nearly DOUBLE your sugar intake in a few sips.

Stick to your regular tea and coffee choices to keep the sugar at bay.


Make others aware

Make sure friends, family and work colleagues are aware that you are reducing your sugar intake. If you don’t make them aware, sugar will still be pushed towards you regularly, making you more likely to give in to sugar-laden foods. Having people around to supporting you can be key to sticking to your low-sugar diet.

If friends or family members are passing round the Quality Street tin, make sure you have something healthy to had that you can snack on. Being prepared will reduce the risk of you giving in and undoing your hard work. You could try a zesty satsuma or a handful of almonds.


Ask others not to buy you food-based gifts

We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but if you’re sticking to low-sugar alternatives and watching your sugar intake, then be sure to let people around you know that you would prefer not to be gifted with tins of biscuits, Christmas cakes or sweet jars. Other presents give lasting memories rather than a sweet treat, all to be forgotten in a few minutes. Giving people the heads up with automatically save you from the sugar without any stress or hassle.


Swap the chocolate

If you’re a real chocolate lover and still want a little something this Christmas, make sure you switch to dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has less sugar content and even 70% Cocoa will satisfy your sweet tooth. A 40g bar of milk chocolate contains over 7 teaspoons of sugar, whereas a 40g bar of dark chocolate can contain just 3 teaspoons.

Read more about the sugar content of chocolate by clicking here.


Shop around for the sugar content

Don’t forget to look at the sugar content before purchasing. Some brands of mince pies have double the sugar content of others. Why do the manufactures do that? It is to mask poor flavours and increase shelf life. If you want better tasting mince pies go for the ones with lower added sugar.

Click here to find out what high-street mince pies are better to buy if you’re reducing your sugar intake over Christmas.

As well as this, you can also take a look below at how sugar content compares in your favourite high street mince pies this year…


Name Calories (kcal) Sugar (per pie)
Sainsburys (Deep filled) 230kcal 13.4g
Tesco 209kcal 13.7g
Morrisons 204kcal 14.2g
Asda 224kcal 15g
Lidl 223kcal 17.9g
Sainsburys (All Butter) 212kcal 21.5g
Tesco Finest 260kcal 22.6g


Still not convinced?

Take a look at our sugar content chart for this year’s Christmas pudding. Even the Christmas pudding with the lowest sugar content is only 2.3g away from your recommended daily intake as an adult!


Name Calories (kcal) Sugar (per 100g)
M&S 286kcal 27.7g
Sainsburys Taste the Difference 312kcal 41.3g
Tesco’s Finest 300kcal 42.8g
Iceland 328kcal 42.7g
Morrisons 318kcal 43.3g
Asda 333kcal 51g


Stock up on alternatives

Whilst we are on the subject of alternatives, why not stock up on healthier snacks to keep in the kitchen. Swap cheese biscuits and minces pies for roasted chestnuts, dates and satsumas. It might also be worth putting sugary snacks back in the cupboard whilst family and friends are relaxing. Keeping cakes and other Christmas foods on the table can encourage you to graze throughout the day, which leads to overeating.

Another great alternative is to make your own cranberry sauce. Shop bought cranberry sauce is jam-packed full of sugar (around 4.1g per teaspoon), so here’s a simple recipe that’s quick, easy and full of flavour:

You’ll need:

  • 100ml orange juice, fresh or from a carton
  • 250g pack cranberries (frozen or fresh)



Firstly, pour orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries, then simmer until they are tender but still holding their shape. This will take about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries or 8-10 mins if using fresh ones. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Note: The sauce will keep in the fridge for 1 week. On the day, bring to room temperature before serving.


How sweet are you?

Take the sugar quiz by clicking on the image below…

Sugar Quiz Image



Take the 14 Day Challenge