Cadbury to release chocolate bar with 75% less sugar - how much sugar should you eat daily?

A close up of a Cadbury Dairy Milk bar as confectioner is planning to release a chocolate bar with 75% less sugar. (Getty Images)
Cadbury is planning to release a chocolate bar with 75% less sugar. (Getty Images)

Cadbury is set to release a chocolate bar containing 75% less sugar and fat than its regular chocolate bars, a CEO at the confectionary giant has confirmed.

The new bars will use plant-based fibres to cut down on the sugar and fat, but it will “take some time” for consumers to get used to the taste.

“It’s going to be a bit like diet drinks and grow very slowly, but we need to keep it on the market,” Dirk van de Put, CEO of Cadbury parent company Mondelez, told the Telegraph.

Read more: What is the NHS soups and shakes diet?

“It’s going to take a while before the consumer really takes to that because it still is not quite exactly the same taste – although it is getting close.”

It’s not the first time Cadbury has released “healthier” versions of its chocolate. In 2019 it released chocolate with 30% less sugar, and earlier this year it released its Delights range, which saw several nougat-filled bars for 91 calories apiece.

At present, a single 45g Dairy Milk chocolate bar contains 25.2g of sugar and 13.5g of fat.

With Cadbury’s proposed changes, this could reduce the sugar and fat content of a singular sized Dairy Milk bar to 6.3g of sugar per bar, and 3.4g of fat – but this is still over a fifth of the amount of “free sugar” the NHS recommends adults limit themselves to each day.

Homemade Pancakes  with blueberries and honey.
Free sugars are the sugar you add to baking recipes, the sugars found in sweets and chocolate, and the sugars in things like honey and maple syrup. (Getty Images)

What are free sugars?

Free sugars are any added sugars, such as sugar in chocolate bars, sweets, soft drinks and sugar added to tea and coffee along with sugars found in honey, fruit juices and syrups like maple and agave.

The NHS says these are the sugars that most adults eat too much of and can cause weight gain and tooth decay.

Read more: Is it safe to eat food past its expiry date?

While sugars found in honey, syrups, unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies may be natural sugars, they still count as free sugars.

The sugar found in milk, fruit and vegetables do not count as free sugars and these do not need to be limited.

How much sugar should you have per day?

The NHS recommends that adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars per day, which is roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes or seven and a half teaspoons of sugar.

This number decreases for children, as children ages seven to 10 should have no more than 24g, and children aged four to six should have no more than 19g. Children under four should avoid most foods and drinks with added sugar.

Close-up of unrecognizable black woman holding a giant chocolate chip cookie after taking a bite
Swap out biscuits for oatcakes in order to reduce your sugar intake. (Getty Images)

So if you were to have one 45g Cadbury Dairy Milk bar with its current sugar content of 25.2g, along with a teaspoon of sugar in your cup of tea, this should be your total sugar intake for the day.

How to cut down on sugar

One of the easiest ways to cut down on sugar is to limit the amount of fizzy drinks and fruit juices you consume.

The NHS says that a can of full sugar soft drink can contain up to nine cubes of sugar, which is more than the daily limit recommended.

Instead, it says to opt for water, low-fat milk, or add no-added-sugar squash to sparkling water. It also recommends switching out a full sugar soft drink for diet or no-sugar versions.

Read more: A low-carb diet can increase your risk of mortality by up to 38% each year

If you want to reduce the free sugars you eat in food, the NHS recommends swapping jam, marmalade, honey, or chocolate spread on your toast for lower-fat spreads or bananas instead.

Opt for unsweetened wholegrain breakfast cereals too that are not frosted or coated in chocolate or honey. It also says to add fruit to your unsweetened cereal like bananas or berries which can contribute to your five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Other swaps you can make for popular snacks include:

  • Chocolate: Swap a bar for a low calories instant hot chocolate drink.

  • Biscuits: Swap for unsalted rice cakes, oatcakes, or oat biscuits.

  • Cakes: Swap for a fruit scone or a currant bun.

It’s worth taking notice of nutrition labels when buying food too, as there can be hidden added sugars under names such as glucose, sucrose, maltose, molasses and hydrolysed starch.

As a general rule, 5g of sugar per 100g is considered low in sugar, while 22.5g or more per 100g is considered high.