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Health & Food

My Daily Intake of Added Sugar

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Ours was very relaxing, and sunny (finally!). Of course today it’s raining again, but at least it held off for the weekend.

Today I’m posting about sugar. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again; the latest research suggests that the added sugars found throughout our food supply are contributing to our greater risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends:

No more than: 100 calories/6 tsp/~24 grams of added sugar per day for womenNo more than: 150 calories/9 tsp/36 grams of added sugar per day for men

Not fair? These recommendations are based off of the fact that men typically eat more calories than females, I’m quite sure.

The other day I decided to count how many grams of “added sugar” I get in my diet. As a reminder, “added sugar” is any sugar added to your food either by manufacturers or by you. If you add sugar to your coffee, honey to your oats, or agave nectar to your smoothies, those are all “added sugars”. If you eat a container of plain yogurt or a large apple, the sugar on the nutrition facts are “natural sugars”. In other words, fruits and dairy have fructose, or lactose respectively. These aren’t added, as they are the natural sugars found in these foods. When you buy fruit juice, dried fruit, or flavored yogurts you are likely getting some “added sugar”, unless the label says “no added sugar”. Typically one serving of milk/dairy, has about 12 grams of “natural sugar”, and one serving of whole fruit has about 15 grams of “natural sugar”. If your product has more than that, it’s likely “added sugar”.

My Typical Consumption of Added Sugar

Morning

~2 Tbsp. flavored soy yogurt or flavored Greek yogurt (the label says 18 grams of sugar per container. 2 Tbsp is about 1/4 of the container. About 12 grams of that sugar is natural lactose (this is true with most dairy products), therefore about 7 grams are from added sugar (this is purely a guess, based on the fact that most dairy has about 12 g of lactose, naturally). Seven divided by 4 is about 2 grams added sugar.Snack

1/2 cup FODMAPS granola (I use about 7 T molasses in the recipe, which has 14 grams of sugar per T. 7 times 14 is 98 grams of added sugar. There are about ten 1/2 cup servings per batch. 98 divided by 10 is about 10 grams added sugar.)

~2 T Smart Balance peanut butter (While the peanut butter is “all natural” it’s an example of a product that isn’t as natural as it could be. They add concentrated cane juice and molasses, which is what provides the 3 grams of added sugar per 2 T).

Dessert

2 Squares Lindt’s 85% Dark Chocolate (One of the great things about real dark chocolate is that there is very little added sugar. This chocolate provides 5 grams “added sugar” per 4 squares. Therefore I get about 2.5 added sugars from this product).

~ 1/2-3/4 cup homemade frozen yogurt (There are about 80 grams of sugar in each of my batches of frozen yogurt. Each batch makes about ten, 1/2 cup servings. This means I get about 8-12 grams of added sugar from this.)

TOTAL: 25.5-29.5 grams of added sugar. I’m doing well! The recommendation is 27 grams, and I’m clearly going a bit over that on some days (and I’m sure there are days when I consume closer to 40 or 50 grams…). Am I going to make any changes? Nope! I exercise regularly and eat a very healthy diet. No need to get too stringent. I would guess my average daily consumption is closer to 30-35 grams of added sugar, when I factor in those occasional weddings, birthdays, etc. (I can’t say no to cake, ever). I know myself well and if I cut down on my sugar any more that would lead to a sugar binge eventually. No Bueno.

Question: How much “added sugar” do you think you consume? Do you want to make any changes?

Coming Up

Tomorrow I will be posting a new recipe and some information about a favorite FRUIT of mine; the Avocado.

Thanks for reading, and have a fabulous Monday!

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