Currently, sugar is a popular topic of discussion. Sugar has been around for years; however, the amount that we consume on a daily basis has increased. We are finding that too much sugar isn’t a good thing. With our portion sizes out of hand, we are taking in too much. So much that The American Heart Association has established new guidelines for how much sugar we should be consuming on a daily basis. The new recommendations state that on a daily basis, men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons per day and women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons per day. Decreasing added sugars, and decreasing daily intake of calories, can improve our heart health and our weights.
One 20 ounce bottle of pop can contain around 40 grams of carbohydrates which is a form of sugar; that translates to around 10 teaspoons of sugar!! Do you like to grab a flavored coffee beverage in the morning? A small mocha drink can contain around 10 ½ teaspoons of sugar.
Unfortunately, you can’t easily tell by looking at the nutrition facts label of a food if it contains added sugars. The line for “sugars” includes both added and natural sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars. Reading the ingredient list on a processed food’s label can tell you if the product contains added sugars, just not the exact amount if the product also contains natural sugars.
Although sugar isn’t harmful to our body, we don’t need sugar for our body to work properly. Added sugars just contribute added calories and no nutrients to food. With the growing rate of obesity, the increasing amounts of sugar that we consume has likely contributed our ever increasing waistlines.