Body, Health News, Sugar Sugar!

How to Avoid Hidden Sugars

March 1, 2013

Photo by Debra Tarrant

To kick off our month on nutrition – Sloan Hemmer of Fit in 15, a certified personal trainer and nutrition counselor, will be sharing tips throughout the month on how to make eating healthy easy and fun.

Hidden Sugars

It’s not too hard to find hidden sugars in your diet -just look at the processed food, on your shelf. Top products include bread, salad dressings, ketchup and all of those seemingly “healthy, multi-grain” choices are bound to be laced with sugar. Why? Because it tastes good -and food companies want you to like (and buy) their products.

Sugar doesn’t just lurk in the grocery isles, when you eat out or go out, those sugar bugs are in everything. For example, we all love our coffee and smoothies!  Let’s say you pop by Starbucks to grab yourself a tall, non-fat, mocha latte with no whip cream and a strawberry smoothie (16oz.), you will be consuming 27 grams (7 tsp) of sugar in the latte and 41 grams (10 tsp) of sugar in the smoothie. To put that ‘healthy’ smoothie in perspective, a 12-ounce can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar.

Good sugar/bad sugar – yes there’s a difference-but it’s all recognized by your body as sugar -so why eat it when you don’t need it.

Hidden sugar is not just in drinks and deserts. As mentioned above, it lurks in seemingly healthy options like ketchup or tomato sauce? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, up to one-third of the content of tomato sauce can be sugar, using rough estimates a tablespoon of tomato sauce equals one teaspoon of sugar. Grabbing a quick Portobello Mushroom Sandwich at Carls Jr? (10 grams, 2 teaspoons), yogurt – some brands pack 20 grams, 5 teaspoons, per serving. You get the point- read labels!

The average American consumes 32,412 grams of sugar per year, which equates to a whopping 88 grams of sugar per day.

Recommendations for sugar consumption are as follows,

Adult Male 36 grams/day (9tsp)

Adult Female 24 grams/day (6tsp)

Adolescents- 20-32 grams (5-8tsp)

Kids age 4-8 16-32 grams/day (4-8tsp)

Kids (preschoolers)- 12grams (3 tsp)

In the coming weeks we will be discussing good sugar vs bad sugar and tasty ways to satisfy your sweet tooth with ‘good’ sugars.



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