Sugar myths busted!


If you haven’t heard, Singapore has just declared war… on diabetes. With 1 in 8 Singaporeans falling victim to diabetes; that shocking headline of white rice being worse than soda was enough to stir up commotion amongst a society of rice eaters. In fact, the sickeningly sweet facts don’t stop there.

Diabetes warnings can be scary, but only a fair few take heed. If you’re nowhere near obese, and eat seemingly healthily – you should be safe right? Wrong. A trip to the nutritionist for a casual check was all it took for Radio DJ, Rozz, to realise the ‘diet’ misapprehensions she had that were doing her more harm than good.

Made to keep a one-week food diary, these were 5 of the mistakes identified by Vivianna Wou, principal consultant and founder of the Food Advisory Group. So put down that can of soda, and listen up – you just might be making them too!


1. Counting calories can still cause you to bust your sugar limit


Counting calories is a term we are all-too-familiar with. Attempts to lose weight and achieve the perfect beach bod cause some to even resort to undereating. However, those low calorie meals might unexpectedly have sky high levels of sugar. A can of green tea might contain only 80 calories – but you’re drinking about 5 teaspoons of sugar!

Rozz had no idea she was consuming twice the recommended amount of added sugar most days. The culprit? Her snacks. Nibbling on two bars of chocolate (40g of sugar) or a cup of Japanese jelly (18.85g) could pack on more sugar than a full meal.

So, instead counting your calories – maybe it’s time you count your sugars.


2. No dessert ≠ No sugar intake


Contrary to popular belief, passing on dessert isn’t going to get you any further from diabetes. Sugar is present in a lot more than just desserts. Rozz had to find out the hard way – her delicious beef sukiyaki rice for dinner one night set her back by a whopping 18 g of sugar – which is half the recommended daily intake in just one sitting!

Hidden out of plain sight, a lot of your unassuming mains contain a lot more sugar than you’d expect, especially in the sauces and gravies they come drenched in. A good habit to pick up is to ask for sauce on the side, less of it, or simply none at all! 

If you know that your main is high in sugar, opt for fresh fruits over a cake or ice cream for dessert instead – the natural sugars from fruit and milk don’t count towards your daily added sugar intake.

But we’re not saying you can’t have cake for the rest of your life. What kind of life would that be?! Once in awhile, it’s good to treat yourself to some proper dessert. Just remember, moderation is key!


3. No, booze isn’t sugar free


Wednesdays = ladies night. Fridays and Saturdays = book out clubbing nights. You don’t have to be #clubbersiao to know that – where there be strobe lights and music, there be alcohol. Thinking of claiming that 1-for-1 drink offer with your credit card? Or accepting that free cocktail that creepy guy offered? Think again.


Even with her relatively light diet, Rozz’s daily alcoholic indulgences weren’t doing her any favours. The bulk of her sugar intake could be traced to her consumption of alcoholic beverages like gin and tonic, and sangria cocktails. 

Some cocktails contain generous amounts of sugar-laden ingredients such as grenadine and flavoured syrups, so needless to say – they’re sugar bombs. And those mixers for your bottles of vodka and gin? They’re just as bad – if not worse.Too buzzed to realise?


4. Kopi Peng – not your morning fuel, but foe


Everyone knows the horrific contents of fizzy drinks; some avoid them like the plague, some #yolo and just drink them anyway, and others look for “healthier” alternatives like the good-old hand-made drinks.


But ordering a cup of kopi peng will not earn you the status of health nut, even if you’re staying away from the offending carbonated drinks.

Despite being mixed right before your eyes (with the exception of Teh-O and Kopi-O), the condensed milk and sugar used adds up to a significant amount. Need your daily caffeine fix before starting the day? Wean yourself off regular kopi or teh, and start going with ‘siu dai’ versions instead. All those cups of Kopi Gao and Teh-C you order daily will catch up to you some day, so it’s time to cut down now!


5. Abstinence isn’t the only solution 


There’s a little sugar in pretty much everything we like. It’s a near-impossible mission to abstain from all sweet treats – especially our beloved bubble tea! While it’s fine to indulge in your favourite treats once in awhile, you should go for the healthier alternatives. Make it your mantra to look out for options with reduced sugar!

Craving bubble tea? Sure, just go for an au naturale choice sans sugar and toppings, or opt for one of the freshly brewed tea drinks. If you’re thinking about ordering fried carrot cake for breakfast, try to go for the white version. The black version has an appalling 14 grams of sugar per portion – thanks to that sticky sweet dark sauce it’s slathered in!

Opt for white carrot cake over the indulgent black one

While it’s fine to indulge in your favourite treats once in awhile, you should go for the healthier alternatives. Make it your mantra to look out for options with reduced sugar!

A little goes a long way, and shaving off a few spoonfuls of added sugar makes a huge difference down the road. And when it comes to your cultured milk drinks, always go with the option that contains less sugar.


With 50% less sugar than that of regular cultured milk drinks, VITAGEN Less Sugar the healthier alternative that contains a combination of Prebiotics and Probiotics to improve and support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. It won’t bust your recommended daily sugar intake either!

Who says you can’t have your cake and it eat? (Just make sure it’s not too sweet…)


Sugar, yes please? Think again.


Misconceptions and uninformed choices have caused us to overlook the sugar intake in our daily diets, causing us to suffer from the negative effects of sugar more than we realise. It’s not about the quantity of food you eat, but the quality and its nutritional contents.

More lines appearing on your face? Could be your candy bar’s fault

Whether it’s undereating, unnecessary snacking, or indulging in one too many cocktails; if you’ve found yourself in the same situation as Rozz – don’t fret, it’s not too late to do something about it. 

You don’t have to go cold turkey on sugar, bit by bit does it. Your tastebuds won’t like it at first, but once you start reaping the benefits – such as a glowing complexion, a trimmer waistline, and a lowered risk of heart attack and diabetes; your body will be thanking you.

Armed with these busted myths, and realizing the importance of starting a less-sugar lifestyle, Rozz is embarking on a Less Sugar Food Plan designed by Dr. Vivianna Wou. Follow Rozz’s 2-week less-sugar challenge with VITAGEN Less Sugar on her Facebook and Instagram

Thinking of making a change? Challenge yourself – lower your sugar consumption for two whole weeks. It might just be one habit that sticks. Check out our video collab with Rozz here! For more on how to lead a healthier less-sugar lifestyle, head over to VITAGEN’s Facebook page.

(Information on nutritional statistics used with permission from Food Advisory Group.)

This post is brought to you by VITAGEN Less Sugar.

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