How to Watch for Hidden Sugar in Your Food

In cravings, fitness, holistic health, lifestyle, nutrition on April 12, 2012 at 8:24 pm

According to MedicineNet.Com, Americans now consume about 156 pounds of sugar per year–about 31 five-pound bags per person.  (That, by the way, compares to us eating about 8 pounds of broccoli a year.)

Overconsumption of refined sweets and added sugars found in everyday foods has led to an explosion of hypoglycemia and Type 2 Diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet, Date January 26, 2011: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. Between 55-60% of adults in America are overweight or obese and, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, obesity is one of the top 3 preventable risk factors for premature mortality.

Before the first sugar refinery was built in 1689. our ancestors had to rely on the berries 

and other fruit they picked to satisfy their sweet tooths.  But now sugar’s all over the place–hidden in things like peanut butter, tomato sauce, ketchup and even baby food.

Our cafe/coffee house lifestyle doesn’t help.  Many of us don’t realize just how much sugar is in a flavored coffee–but a 16-ounce Starbuck’s Frappacino has 44 grams of sugar!  That’s comparable to 10 teaspoonfuls.  A chocolate glazed cake donut from Dunkin’ Donuts has 14 grams of sugar, or 3 teaspoonfuls.

Need more proof?  Okay, imagine that you’re in a supermarket.  Ravenous!  Just by the cash register are shelves and shelves of candy.  You think, “It’s only tiny–what’s the harm?”  Some statistics:

  • A 140 calorie York peppermint patty contains 25 grams of sugar.  Each sugar gram contains 4 calories–so 100 calories of that candy is sugar.
  • A milk chocolate Hershey bar is 110 Calories.  Since it contains 24 grams of sugar, that means the bar is 96 Calories of sugar.
  • A bag of M&Ms is 230 calories.  The bag contains 31 grams for a total of 124 sugar calories.

If we read labels, do some simple calculations and stay aware of what we’re eating we’ll all be fine.

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