Added Sugar May be Keeping You From Getting Healthy

Trying to stay healthy or lose weight with proper diet and exercise but feel like you aren’t making progress? This may be because of one problem: added sugars. Added sugars are “sugars and syrups put in foods during preparation or processing, or added at the table” (American Heart Association). They are not just found in sweet foods like cookies, cake, and ice cream. Products that many people assume are healthy such as salad dressings, yogurt, granola, and sports drinks often have discretely added sugars, causing you to consume more sugar than you realize. One container of Yoplait Original yogurt contains 26g of sugar (second on the ingredients list), which is equal to about 5 teaspoons of sugar and more than the 24g daily sugar recommendation for women!

Some facts about added sugar you may not know:

  • Added sugars are different from the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables. (Not all sugar is bad sugar!)
  • Added sugars not only drive up the calorie count of foods, but they keep you full for a shorter amount of time than complex carbs.
  • Low-fat, organic, and gluten-free foods often have a higher amount of added sugars to make up for the ingredients that have been removed.

Some ways to lower the amount of added sugar in your diet:

  • Read nutrition labels carefully!
  • Look out for (and try to avoid) ingredients that end in “–ose” or syrup such as high fructose corn syrup or maltose.
  • Limit the amount of processed food you eat.

Some easy food swaps

Instead of this:                                            Try this: 

Soda/sports drinks                                        Flavored sparkling water

Bottled salad dressing                                  Olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice

Sugary cereal                                                Oatmeal topped with bananas

Low-fat yogurt                                              Greek plain yogurt (ideally with less than  13g of sugar)

 

 

Here’s how you can take action:

  • Check out a new foundation called EChO-Eradicate Childhood Obesity for more information on the dangers of added sugar to your health at echoforgood.org.
  • Check out and consider signing the petition to Congress for a Front Label Act that will require a clear label for how many total teaspoons of sugar (including added sugar!) that an entire packaged or bottled consumer food product contains.
  • Some more helpful sources: Fed Up documentary on Netflix, Ted Talks by Laurent Adamowicz on Youtube

 

It’s not about cutting out all sugar from your diet; it’s about paying more attention to how much sugar you are consuming and sticking to a limited amount. Everyone needs a cupcake or a chocolate chip cookie every once in a while! 

 

Want some more healthy food ideas? Try out these 7 Ways to Navigate Dewick Like a Health Nut

 

 

 

Sources: Heart.org, takepart.com, sugarstacks.com, livestrong.com, echoforgood.org, pinterest.com, playbuzz.com, takepart.com