Our bodies break down food into the simplest form of sugar, glucose, to provide energy.
Many of our foods already contain naturally occurring sugars. Think of your fruits: grapes, apples, peaches, blueberries…
But there are also hidden sugars in your foods. Food manufacturers often use sugar as a filler and a binding agent in the recipes. If you purchase prepackaged foods, then most likely you are consuming hidden sugars.
Obvious examples include soda, cookies, candy, and other desserts. But what about other things that you eat: ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, salsa, energy drinks, canned or bottled coffee or tea, frozen dinners, cereals, pastas, granola, flavored yogurt, dried fruit.
While the USDA Dietary Guidelines and the Choose My Plate do not address sugars, the American Heart Association recommends the following daily sugar consumption not to exceed the following:
Female 100 calories 6 teaspoons 24 gramsWhen tracking your sugar consumption, you must factor in the hidden sugars in your food choices. This will mean reading nutrition labels. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted extensive research which has resulted in a revision of nutrition labels to include an added sugar category.
Male 150 calories 9 teaspoons 36 grams
|Sugar Terms||Technical or scientific sugar terms|
|(usually with “sugar” or “syrup”)||(ending in -ose or -ide)|
|high fructose corn syrup||ribose|
|Sugar Alcohols||Artificial Sweeteners|
|erythritol||Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet, Canderel)|
|glycol||Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame potassium)|
|isomalt||Stevia* (Sweetleaf, Truvia)|
|lacitol||*Stevia is natural in its raw form, but is often contains other fillers)|
With the excessive amounts of hidden sugars and sweeteners in our foods, our bodies have been trained to crave sweeter foods. This can be detrimental to our overall health by creating an biological addiction which can lead to other devastating health issues such as diabetes and liver failure.
Grocery Store Golden Rule: If it’s pre-made or prepackaged, it probably has added sugars.Contact the experts at the Metabolic Medical Centers to discuss your personal sugar consumption levels, and to determine the best course of action to reduce your sugar intake.