Natural vs. added sugars, which are which sugar, part ii power generation definition

Food makers only have to list how much total sugar is in the product, not the amount of natural and added sugars. Lactose and glucose are examples of naturally occurring sugars which means they come from food and are not artificially manufactured. Added sugars are those that are not naturally found in food and are just like they sound, added during the manufacturing process or added by consumers when eating. They are added to food to preserve it for a longer shelf life or consumers use it to make food taste better. Think about eating your morning oatmeal. Most Americans don’t think oatmeal tastes great by itself so what do they do? Add some sugar and milk, which has sugar in it to make it taste better. Added sugars may contain natural sugars, but not the other way around. Sweetened drinks, yogurt, fruity drinks, candy, desserts, and sweetened milk are the main culprits of added sugars in the American diet.

The recommended amount of sugar that the average American should consume each day is 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams (g). Yes, 6 teaspoons, which is the smaller of the two spoons in your utensil drawer. That’s it! This includes food and drink that is put into the body in a 24-hour period. On average, Americans are putting 82 grams of sugar into their bodies! 82! When looking at nutrition labels it is important to remember that one gram of sugar = ¼ teaspoon. That adds up quickly so be cognizant of what is going into your body.

Not all sugar intake is bad because our body needs those 6 grams each day to feel energized and for our brain and muscles to get the energy that they need. Cutting out sugar completely is a bad idea because our body needs it for food and out bodies are built to use the sugar for energy. The main problem is the overindulgence of sugar on a daily basis.

The main contributor to the overindulgence of sugar on a daily basis and from where most added sugars come are sugary beverages. These drinks include fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and other non-alcoholic sweetened drinks. Research has shown a significant link between drinks, obesity and excessive weight increase through added calorie intake and no increase in activity to burn it off. When this happens, the extra calories then turn into fat. In fact, one sugary drink per day is linked to higher risk for cancer, higher rates of obesity, and increased BMI. A couple of examples:

• You work out at the gym and want to refresh afterward with a normal sized 32 oz bottle of your favorite sport drink. It is a great thing that you just worked out but how many grams of sugar did you just put into your body? Fifty-six grams = 14 teaspoonfuls

• You decide that you want to cut back on your portions and food intake to lose some pound so, for breakfast, you decide to drink a prepared yogurt smoothie instead. Bad idea. 19 grams of sugar = 5 teaspoonfuls Almost your whole days’ worth of sugar gone, just in one meal.

This problem can be solved pretty simply. When you get thirsty, drink water. Have a water bottle with you all the time. Get a reusable bottle and when you feel like you have a craving for something to drink, drink your water. Your kidneys will thank you too. Think about it: if you cut out that sweetened sports drink how much sugar you would save over a week (98 teaspoons), a month (61 cups), and a year (46 gallons)!!!

Even if one thinks they are eating a more healthy diet, added sugars can be hidden in food. About 74% of foods in supermarkets have hidden added sugars that, unless you read the ingredients and food labels closely, you would not know. There are products that are naturally thought of as being high sugar such as ice cream, desserts, etc., but there are many foods that have “hidden sugar” in them. Here are some examples to be aware of:

• As you are drinking that sports drink, envision yourself eating and putting sixteen teaspoons of sugar into your mouth while you are drinking it. That is what you are doing, just in liquid form. Train your mind to think of the sugar more tangibly and then you will actively reduce it in your diet and hopefully drop pounds.

• Sugar should not be listed as one of the top three ingredients in a food. If it is, not a good idea to eat it because the content is too high. In addition, the nutritional value of the food is not good so it will not keep you full for very long. It is better to choose a better option.