Updated: Aug 29
Sugar is a ubiquitous ingredient, It is everywhere in our food supply! With this in mind, there are a few things you need to know to find out exactly how much you are eating each day.
Look for ways to trim added sugars from your diet including those that may be lurking in your flavored Greek yogurt; some of which have as much sugar as a twinkie. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25 grams daily for women and 36 for men, or about 6 and 9 tea spoons worth.
This is when reading labels on packaging becomes important. When you are choosing between different brands or kinds of food, it is best to choose ones with the lowest amount of sugars because those grams can add up quickly.
No PHD in reading Nutrition labels? We got you covered.
As consumers try to avoid sugar in food, companies have gotten wise and have started to disguise the sugar in their products, so it is not as apparent how much sugar you are consuming. 'Sugar' is seen on the label as a long list in many different forms you should be aware of, including:
Agave Nectar Brown Sugar Cane Crystals Crystalline Fructose
Corn Syrup Dextrose Corn Sweetner Evaporated Cane Juice
Fructose Glucose Malt Syrup Fruit Juice Concenrates
Honey Invert Sugar Molasses High-fructose Corn Syrup
Cane Sugar Raw Sugar Sucrose Syrup
Be aware of hidden sugar in processed Foods
Most people are able to identify desserts and candy as having added sugar, but what about the less obvious sources? Some foods that most people would consider "healthy" may actually have a lot of added sugar in them such as Breakfast cereals, yogurts, granola bars, fitness protein bars, condiments (Soy Sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, bbq sauces, mustards), and Beverages (Sodas, "juices", sports drinks).
Evidence suggests that we shouldn't be fooled into thinking that zero-calorie artificial sweetners with zero grams of sugar are healthy. They should actually be avoided.
Both human and animal studies continue to reveal that frequent consumption of diet soda or artificial sweetners is associated with greater body mass index (BMI), obesity and metabolic syndrome.
What are the worst sugar substitues?
High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is usually produced from genetically modified corn.
Fructose is a simple sugar that is rapidly metabolized by the liver, causing a *sugar high." Researchers believe this quick-acting sugar leads to increased storage of fat in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, digestive upset and atherosclerosis.
Sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar and may contribute to an addiction for overly sweet foods and drinks. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that cooking with sucralose at high temperatures can generate dangerous chloropropanols - a toxic class of compounds.
Other examples of products to avoid are:
Neotame Spartame Acesulfame potassium
Nutra Sweet Nutrinova Phenlalanine
Saccharin Splenda Sweet'N Low
Equal Glucin Twinsweet
Kaltame Mogrosides Sucralose
Sugar Alchols (likemannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol)
Do you still like it sweet?
We have you covered. Stay tuned to next weeks Part 2, in which we will explore healthier sugar substitutes to satisfy your sweet tooth.