Sugar shockers

by Camille on October 8, 2010

Sugar Cubes

I love sweets (especially homemade baked goods), so you won’t find me advocating a sugar-free diet. But if I’m going to consume excess sugar, I want it in my dessert–not snuck into my meals and seemingly-healthy snacks.

Unfortunately, as I recently discovered, added sugar is everywhere–from dried fruit to “light” yogurt to oatmeal. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams (about 100 calories, or 6 teaspoons of sugar) of excess sugar a day. Guess how much are in these “good for you” items?

  • Bran muffins: 22 grams (and as many as 400 calories!) per medium-sized muffin
  • Dried cranberries: 30 grams per 1/3 cup
  • Iced green tea: up to 50 grams for 16 ounces
  • Applesauce: 20 grams per half cup

Eek! That helps explain why most of us consume more than three times the recommended amount.

Obviously, the best way to cut out the sugar is to skipped process food for whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. In the real world, this isn’t always possible–or desirable (some days, tomato soup that I didn’t make myself really hits the spot). That’s why it’s smart to know which foods are top sugar culprits, says Canyon Ranch dietitian Kelly Grant, R.D. For more surprisingly sugar-filled supermarket staples, check out this story I wrote for iVillage.

-Camille

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{ 1 comment }

Lauren October 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm

I’m with you on the sugar thing. If I’m going to consume sugar, it better be in my dessert (even if that dessert is a tall glass of iced tea or limeade during the summer or hot chocolate in winter). Another incredibly sneaky place to find added sugar is in salty foods–I just found out that there’s maltodextrin, which doesn’t even sound like sugar, in my dry roasted peanuts of all places, and lots of frozen dinners have it too. Cooking your own food is definitely your best bet–not too many people put a big scoop of sugar into their dinner while it’s cooking.

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