Low sugar New Year's resolution #2: Eat real food

The best thing you can do for your body is to eat nutritious food. A proper diet will go a long way towards reducing sugar cravings. Here's some helpful hints from dentist and Masterchef contestant Matt Hopcraft for feeding your family real food.


As a dentist and a father cooking for my family, I’m always mindful of how much sugar there is in many foods and drinks. I think there are some important things to keep an eye out for:

  • Eat real food – a lot of the sugar that we eat is found in processed foods (for example sauces, pre-made meals etc)
  • Always check the food label on packaged foods, and look at both the amount of sugar per serving. Remember that suggested serving sizes are often much smaller than what we really eat, so take that into account. Also look at the ingredient list to see where the sugars are coming from – for example naturally occurring sugars in dried or whole fruit.
  • If the packaged product contains too much sugar, then make your own from scratch and control exactly how much sugar goes in. Manufacturers use sugar not just for flavor and sweetness, but also for things like ‘mouth feel’. Homemade alternatives are always much better.
  • Limit the amount of cakes, biscuits and sugary desserts. Fresh fruit is a great dessert, or for something less sweet, some cheese and nuts.
  • Reducing the sugar in your diet is a long-term commitment to a healthier you, so don’t rush things, and don’t go to extremes. It’s OK to have small slice of birthday cake, or share the occasional sweet dessert, as long as it’s not a regular thing.

There are some great recipe ideas to help you #sugarswap some of the sugar out of your diet.

For example, would you believe that tinned minestrone contains 5.2 grams of sugar? Here is a great version that you can make yourself, and pack full of flavour and goodness. Matt's minestrone recipe