Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Watch out for added sugar

Life Lessons: Watch out for added sugar

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. The main culprit? Added sugar. It’s hiding in plain sight. It’s in 74 percent of packaged foods sold in supermarkets. So even if you skip the cookies and cake, you may still be consuming more sugar than recommended. Here are some foods to cut back on.

“Sugar consumption has created a public health hazard. It really is a crisis. Sugar consumption has gone up 30 percent in the last three decades.” Rena Greenberg, author of the book Sugar Divorce said.

There are more than 60 different names for sugar found on food labels so be mindful of what you’re eating. When reading ingredient lists, look for names that end in “-ose” such as “clintose” or “maltose”. These are just words that really mean “added sugar”.

It’s hidden in everyday food items. Barbecue sauce can hold a whopping 13 grams per two tablespoons. Tomato sauce can deliver as much as 15 grams of sugar per half cup, and ketchup is loaded with sugar at two grams per one restaurant sized packet!

Also watch out for items that say “fat-free”, in order to eliminate fat but keep flavor, manufacturers rely primarily on sugar and salt. For example, fat free salad dressings can contain eight grams of sugar per two tablespoons.

And those options you think are healthy? Granola bars can pack 12 grams or more per bar. Even dried fruit can have 24 grams in just one-third of a cup!

A good long term daily sugar limit for adults is 50 grams per day. Compare that to a single 16 ounce bottle of coke that has a whopping 52 grams!

When you’re reading ingredient lists keep in mind the order of the list.  Nutritional info is usually listed with what’s found most in the product first, so if sugar is listed as one of the first five ingredients, you may want to avoid the product.


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