A “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” but are you aware that there’s plenty of sugar in a multitude of common grocery items even the ones that are supposed to be “healthy”.
Why worry about sugar? Sugar is a carbohydrate. One teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams and contains about 16 calories. So, what’s all the fuss about? Unfortunately, when sugar is eaten in large amounts it provides excess empty calories that can lead to weight gain and raise your insulin levels upsetting your body’s blood sugar balance. The rise in insulin levels caused by an increased sugar intake may cause inflammation, increasing your risk for disease. It may also inhibit key hormones that regulate your immune system. Insulin causes your body to store fat. That is why a high sugar intake is linked to obesity and weight gain. High sugar intake is also linked to elevated levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood that has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Sugars which occur naturally in foods are “good sugars”. The foods that contain “good sugars” also provide key nutrients to your body. They are:
Low fat or skim milk
Fruits: blueberries, apples, pineapples, oranges, bananas, melons, etc.
Most veggies: carrots, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower
Cake, cookies , donuts, etc.
BUT BEWARE! Some foods that sound healthy are loaded with sugar, too! These include:
Granola 2/3 c=4 tsp.
Dried fruit 1 c=21 tsp.
Orange juice 8oz=5 tsp.
Snapple Ice tea 1 bottle=8.5 tsp.
Power Bar= 4.75 tsp.
Frozen Yogurt 8oz=8.5 tsp.
WOW! THAT’S ALOT OF SUGAR!
So exactly how much sugar should we be eating? It’s recommended that Americans eat no more than 8 teaspoons of sugar per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet. That’s about 32 grams of sugar if you’re reading labels.
REMEMBER: 1TEASPOON=16 GRAMS=16CALORIES
Be aware and read your food labels to determine how much sugar you are eating!