How much refined sugar are you really consuming?

September 22, 2015

 

Sure, you stopped putting sugar in your morning coffee, never let a candy bar pass your lips and a frosting swathed cup cake—never! You know that all that sweetness can lead to diabetes, obesity and other damage to your body. Nope, no refined sugar for you!

 

But just how much refined sugar are you possibly still consuming? Refined sugar comes in many forms and in a surprising number of food products, even ones not traditionally considered sweets.

 

Start with the liquids you consume. Soda pop, fruit juices and other sweetened drinks such as teas and energy drinks, often pack an invisible sugar wallop of amazing proportions in a can or bottle. It may be refined sugar or an associated product such as corn syrup.

 

Maybe you avoid a Hershey or Snicker’s bar or a package of M&M’s in favor of a protein bar or similar product. Take a look at the label. Those products are often filled with sugar or glazed with a sugar product.

 

A Clif Bar has 23 grams of sugar. Yes that is less than the 39 grams in a 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola. The World Health Organization recommends a daily diet contain no more than 25 grams of sugar. Have a Clif Bar for a snack and that doesn’t leave a lot of room in your diet.

 

To minimize process sugar in your diet, there are some basic steps to take.

 

First, stop the processed foods as a part of your diet. They not only are great at camouflaging sugars, they are purveyors of high levels of salt and fats—also enemies of good health.

 

Second, stop drinking commercial soda pop, teas, juices and other sugar laden drinks. Water is an excellent choice, maybe with a slice of lemon.

 

Thirdly, limit fruit to 1 or 2 servings per day. Fresh or processed, as good and healthy as it is, it has sugar, hence the sweet taste. But investigate. A tomato has very little sugar, grapes are worse than candy bars.

 

Finally, do read product labels or use the internet to learn the nutritional value of what you eat. It puts you in charge and able to make educated choices about your health. 

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