Sugar, fat and other nutrients

Apart from fibre, sugar has no more calories than any other ingredient. Sugar has four calories per gram, which compares to protein (four calories), alcohol (seven calories) and fat (nine calories).

So products with ‘reduced sugars’ or ‘no added sugars’ will only have fewer calories overall when compared to the original product if the sugar or sugars are replaced with other ingredients containing fewer amounts of calories. This is something to check because it is not always the case – for example, if a manufacturer reduces the amount of sugar in a biscuit or cake the product still contains fat. This can often result in fat then making up a higher proportion of the total product weight. Because fat contains twice as many calories as sugar, the new product containing less sugar could contain more calories per 100g than the original.

Alternatively, if we take a mug of coffee as shown below, you can see the differences in the number of calories per mug dependent on how you prefer to take your coffee.