The average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week! So, where do you rank?
You may feel like you are watching your sugar intake, but are you doing enough? The low fat revolution gave sugar a free pass and really, most people, including you, likely eat way more sugar than you think you are.
Most of us can clearly connect where added sugars are in our diet – soda, pastries, cookies… these are all easy enough to identify, BUT, what happens when you think you are making healthy food choices and the “healthy” foods contain added sugar?
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How Much Sugar Would Expect to See From These “Healthy” Foods?
For example, over the course of the day, say you eat: Chobani Greek low fat yogurt, berry flavored, a Blueberry Bliss Luna Bar and a ½ cup serving of Trader Joes Roasted Garlic marinara sauce as part of your dinner.
The Chobani Greek yogurt has 2.5 teaspoons of added sugar, the Luna bar has 3.25 teaspoons of added sugar and Trader Joes marinara sauce has 1.5 grams of added sugar.
You have consumed 7.25 teaspoons of added sugar in one day, just from these three products. This is close to a shot glass full of sugar in a single day. This is over ½ a pound of sugar in a week! Over the year, this totals 2,646 teaspoons of sugar which adds up to 27.5 pounds of sugar a year. Again, just from these three products.
Refined sugar has no nutritional value, meaning that it doesn’t offer any nutrients. There aren’t any vitamins, minerals, enzymes or fiber in sugar. It is linked to pretty much every condition, inflammation and obesity and it has been shown to be as addictive as cocaine. Behavioral rat and mice studies have shown that, when offered a choice, the animals will choose sugar water over cocaine water and yet, added sugars are in pretty much every packaged and processed food that we consume, even the healthy ones. It is only added to make the food more addictive.
What Can You Do?
If you changed your choices to full fat, plain organic yogurt, ate a Larabar instead of a Luna bar and chose a marinara sauce that had less sugar added, you would save yourself from eating all that extra sugar.
We have to continue to be vigilant about reading labels, choosing whole foods and changing the course of the food industry with our pocket books.
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