Is Sugar Lurking in Your Food or Drinks?

sugar-bowlFood manufacturers use sugar in their products to get consumers addicted to their products. Most processed foods are loaded with sugar! If that were not bad enough, usually that sugar is the cheapest form of sugar: high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is processed by the liver, and excess sugar makes the liver fatty.  Not good.  Sugar is hidden everywhere, even in things you would not think would be sweetened, such as ketchup, sauces, soups, cereals, baked goods and dips. It’s important to read the ingredients on everything you buy so that you don’t get tricked into consuming unwanted sugars.

RULE OF THUMB:

There are 4 grams of sugar per one teaspoon, which is equal to one packet of sugar. 12 teaspoons is about ¼ cup of sugar and many of these drinks below surpass that!

  • 12 oz can of Coke has about 36 grams of sugar
  • 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew has about 77 grams of sugar – plus 40% more caffeine than Coke
  • 20 oz Vitamin Water has 33 grams of sugar – still think this is healthier than water?
  • 8.3 oz Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar – has a smaller can, but just as much sugar as soda!
  • 16 oz bottle of Orange Juice has 48 grams of sugar – juice is not healthier than soda like we are led to believe!

Luckily, there are alternatives to refined, processed, empty-calorie sweeteners: natural sweeteners. Unrefined sweeteners generally contain more flavor and undergo minimal processing techniques. They are very concentrated, so a little goes a long way. And you can enjoy natural sweeteners in moderation, along with a meal or snack that also includes sources of good-quality fat or protein.  Keep in mind sugar in any form can lead to unwanted weight gain, blood sugar issues and even diabetes if used excessively and not as part of a balanced diet.

Next week we will look at some natural sweeteners.

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