By Julie Cornelius, MS
How much do you know about added sugar? Do you know that…
• There is added sugar in 74% of packaged foods in the grocery store
• The average american consumes 66 pounds of sugar every year
• Sugar is addictive: it relesases an opiate-like substance that activates the reward center in the brain.
• Sugar makes the digestive system acidic, leaching vitamin and minerals from the body.
Pretty crazy, right? What’s even crazier is that it is sometimes hard to tell what has added sugar by reading the food label. In a Nutrition Facts Panel, sugar is listed but that listing does not distinguish between added sugar and natural sugar. Added sugar has been linked to healthy problems such as heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons) for women and less than 150 per day (about 9 teaspoons) for men. Some sweetened yogurts have up to 9 teaspoons of sugar and one soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar! The proposed changes to the food label aims to distinguish between added sugar and natural sugar, but until then, labels just list sugar. Sugars do occur naturally in foods like fruit and dairy, and these sugars come packaged along with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. These are not the sugars that we want to avoid. So until the changes to the food labels are made, we need to dig a little deeper and look at the ingredient list on a food label. Added sugars come with all sorts of different names. Here is a list of some of the things you might see that indicate added sugar:
▪ Agave Nectar
▪ Corn Syrup solids
▪ Fruit Juice Concentrate
▪ High-Fructose Corn Syrup
▪ Palm Sugar
▪ Rice Syrup
This list is not complete and there are many different names that sugar can have on a label, but these are some of the most common.
Cutting out sugar is not an easy thing since it is does cause changes in the brain and is highly addictive. If you have a problem with sugar, get in touch with Julie to find out how to quit sugar the healthy way!
Julie Cornelius, MS: Julie@potentialenergytraining.com
Julie Cornelius, MS is Co-founder of Potential Energy Training & Nutrition. She has an extensive background in nutrition and graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ with both her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Nutrition. She has worked in fitness studios helping clients achieve their nutrition goals, spent two years teaching college nutrition courses, and was the founder of Julie Bar, an energy bar company. Julie is a long time cyclist and mountain biker who loves being outdoors. Julie helps individuals to meet their nutrition goals, whether it is eating to win an endurance mountain bike race, losing weight, or just eating to be healthier. Connect with Julie: email@example.com.