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Diabetes - focus on the "Sugar Smart" tool from Diabetes Ireland

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

“Sugar Smart” tool by Diabetes Ireland


An effective the online tool called “Sugar Smart” at equips people with the knowledge to make better food choices to help them lower their daily sugar consumption.


Are you and your family overconsuming free sugars?

Pauline Dunne, Senior Dietitian, Diabetes Ireland explains that “Our intakes of sugar have increased dramatically over the last 10 years and where fizzy drinks and sweet foods are the obvious culprits many people are not aware of other foods which also contain substantial amounts of ‘free sugars’’, these free sugars have been classified as simple sugars added to foods by the manufacturer as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.”


The WHO (World Health organisation) published guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children stressing the need to reduce our daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of our daily intake. This is because we must all address our high intake of free sugars because of their association with poor dietary quality, dental caries, obesity and the risk of preventable diseases such Type 2 diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).


Take the test and become Sugar Smart

Diabetes Ireland’s online resource has taken 3 everyday “lifestyle” situations, “Coffee Shop”, “Movie Night” and “Supermarket shopping”, and shown how much sugar you may be unknowingly taken and offers tips and suggestions on how you can make “smart” decisions to reduce your sugar intake using alternative or better choice products. “We are not telling people to make huge changes that they cannot sustain over a prolonged period. Instead, we are asking them to make ‘small changes’ by simply thinking before they purchase” added Pauline.


How many spoonfuls of sugar are in our favourite treats?

Meeting friends and family in a local coffee shop for a cuppa and often a sweet treat too has become the norm. Many of the available choices in these cafes are laden with free sugars. A muffin could contain the equivalent of 8 teaspoons of free sugars, a slice of cake 14 teaspoons and a large hot chocolate with marshmallows & whipped cream a whopping 18 teaspoons. Minor changes like choosing smaller serving sizes and unsweetened coffees – or sharing your usual scone or tea cake with a friend can all help reduce your free sugar intake.

“Sugar Smart” also offers simple tips in reducing over consumption of free sugars for you and the family when doing the weekly supermarket shopping and on a visit to the movies or a movie night at home. It also allows visitors to first gauge their own sugar intake via a simple quiz and then offers great advice on how to make those “small changes” that will enable them to reduce their sugar intake across these 3 lifestyle situations without too much effort. Minor changes all matter - making a few changes to the way you eat and drink can make a notable difference to your health over time.

Visit today and gauge your “sugar smartness”. Sugar Smart tips, recipes, images and a downloadable infographic can be found at


Diabetes Ireland

Diabetes Ireland is the national charity dedicated to providing support, education and motivation to all people affected by diabetes. It also raises public awareness of diabetes and its symptoms and funds Irish-based research into diabetes.

For more information about events and about diabetes, contact Diabetes Ireland on 1850 909 909 or visit


Nutritionist Service

Whelehans have an in-store nutritionist service with nutritionist Caroline Masters. A consultation consists of in depth analysis of major body systems including liver, digestion, hormones plus personal health history, family history and review of daily diet. Call Caroline Masters on 086 3994615 as the time for doing is now with motivation and education. Caroline can help you to lose weight steadily without feeling hungry with better food choices and increased exercise. Caroline has a special interest in food intolerance. It is a relaxed, private space where we can work together for a healthier and happier you. You can also call Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St on 044 9334591 or email to make your appointment.  The nutrition clinic at Whelehans provides a friendly, affordable, flexible service suitable for men, women and children.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).


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