Sunday, April 7, 2013

Added Sugar - Recommendations and How Much is TOO Much?

Lately, the question I've been getting more than any other is, "How much sugar should I consume?" Well, the truth is a little gray, but what we're primarily talking about is added sugar...not the sugar found in fruits or other whole foods.

I adapted my "added sugar" tip board from a health fair awhile ago to help point you in the right direction. As always, direct your questions to: morgan@livepoweredbyplants.com.

Sugar
-      Now added to more foods/beverages than ever before
o  May be a contributing to the rise in obesity and other health problems
-      Added sugar provides NO nutritional value, but added to boost flavor, as a preservative, as a bulking agent in baked goods, to balance the acidity in foods containing tomatoes, and to fuel fermentation to (helps bread rise)
-      Sugar is a carbohydrate
o  Your body uses carbohydrates as it's main source of energy
§  Turns into glucose and uses what it needs for energy right away, stores the rest until needed
o  Naturally occurring sugar tend to be low on the glycemic index, having minimum effect on your blood sugar
o  Added sugars are high on the glycemic index, causing your blood sugar to spike
 Daily Recommended Amount
Natural sugar (fruit, starchy vegetables) is not concerning, but added sugar has no nutritional value and only adds calories. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your added sugars to:
Women: 6 teaspoons or 100 calories
Men: 9 teaspoons or 150 calories

Risks of Added Sugar
-     Energy Dense and Nutritionally Lacking
o  Weight gain common
o  Increased weight contributes to diabetes, heart disease, etc.
o  Added sugar foods lack a lot of vitamins and minerals
-     Increased Triglyceride Levels
o  Increases risk of heart disease
-     Tooth Decay

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