It’s been 10 years since he was on our screens telling us not to eat turkey twizzlers, and now Jamie Oliver is back and he has a new mission: telling us to cut back on sugar. But why should we? We all know it’s bad, but exactly how bad?

Why is it bad for you?

Sugar is a very simple molecule, and as such it is very easy to break down. The bacteria in your mouth break it down very quickly and easily, and convert it into acids. These acids are what create a problem for your teeth, as they destroy the enamel of the tooth, resulting in tooth decay.

Preventing this erosion is an easy. Brushing and flossing daily have been shown to reduce the levels of tooth decay, and rinsing with mouthwash can help to get to those hard to reach places.

How to cut back

When we try and cut back on sugar, too many of us go for the obvious choices, such as sweets and fizzy drinks. But high levels of sugar are found in many other, less-obvious things that we eat or drink every day.

Instead of Ketchup, why not try Salsa? Ketchup is shockingly high in sugar, containing 22g of sugar for every 100g of ketchup. Delicious home-made salsa can be made from just tomatoes, lime juice and some spring onions.

Instead of flavoured yoghurt, why not try plain yoghurt topped with fruit? This might seem like a no-brainer, but more often than not, fruit yoghurts are made from concentrates and artificial flavourings. This means that they don’t contain any nutritional benefits, they only have sugar. Plain yoghurt is very high in protein and the fresh fruit will give you a boost in antioxidants.

Instead of sugary cereal, why not try porridge? Many cereals are covered with sugar to make them sweet, but don’t keep you full for long. Porridge is a great alternative that everyone overlooks. Too boring? Jazz it up with some cinnamon, bananas or other fresh fruit.