Where’s the Sugar?
Have you been hearing it too? A whole lot of people I know have been saying that they want to eat less sugar. Actually, more than half of Americans have said it!
Problem is, SAYING you want to eat less sugar is much easier than following through and really committing to it because our bodies and brains are wired to want it. So, what’s the big deal? Well, research from the American Heart Association found that more often than not, we consume double the recommended amount. Women should have no more than 100 calories of sugar and men not more than 150 calories.
Wait, WHAT? Yes, it’s approximately 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. I know, it’s not fair, not one bit, but it is what it is.
Where’s the Sugar
- 5 Oreos have 23 grams
- Chobani Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt has 15 grams
- Mountain Dew (20 oz) has 19.25 tsp
- Gatorade (20 oz) has 8.5 tsp
- One can of Coke has 42 grams
- White Wonder Bread (2 slices) has 3 grams
Nutrition labels provide you the number of sugar grams per serving (it’s very important to also note the number of servings in a product – you can be caught off guard sometimes) and the numbers can often be unexpectedly surprising.
This or That?
Here are just three comparisons to help you make choices that provide less-sugar to your diet.
- 1 Tbsp ketchup 3g vs. 1 Tbsp of mustard 0g
- 1 cup tomato soup 8g vs. 1 cup chicken noodle 0g
- One-piece BBQ chicken 5 g vs. one-piece Buffalo chicken 0g
Here’s some good news: if you really have a sweet tooth and need to have something sweet for dessert, try some dark chocolate! However, keep in mind that 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something that should be consumed daily. All these great nutrients also come with 600 calories so it should be seen for what it is, a treat. I like to have two squares after dinner as dessert and trust me, a little goes a long way when it is so indulgent!
What other swaps can you make? Start looking at what you have in front of you. What changes can you make? Look at your salad dressing and try to find no-sugar or low-sugar options; same goes with your coffee choices when you get them. Be very aware of your breakfast choices, especially cereals, and look for less-sugary options. Sugar is especially sneaky during the early parts of the day. So be sure to read labels!
In other good news, don’t worry too much about natural sugars, especially in fruit because those have benefits that far outweigh the amounts of sugar.
And in a little more good news, the less sugar we consume, the more our bodies and brains adjust to it so eventually, we don’t crave it as much!