Are We Eating Too Much Sugar

by Gardenbella

There is so much hidden sugar in many of the foods we eat. Sugar is in everything from soft drinks to sports drinks as well as donuts and bagels!

There is so much hidden sugar in many of the foods we eat. Sugar is in everything from soft drinks to sports drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, coffee drinks, cakes, cookies, muffins, doughnuts, granola bars, chocolate, ice cream and even yogurt. It seems that most everything we eat contains sugar.

Although statistics don't have all the information, it is thought that on average we consume at least 15 teaspoons of added sugar each day. That might not seem like a lot but it can add up to 240 empty calories! Multiple that by weeks and months, well that is a lot of sugar!

According to Fasanti Malik, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, there is a lot of evidence linking sugar-sweetened beverages to the amount of extra weight a person is carrying. In a four year study, it was found that weight gain of about 10 pounds occurred in women who went from drinking only one sugar-sweetened drink a week to at one a day!

And it isn't just table sugar. Read the labels and you will find all sorts of words for sugar from corn syrup to dextrose and many other names as well!

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Sugar By Any Other Name!

You probably read labels and you probably make sure the food you are purchasing doesn't have a lot of sugar included in the ingredients. But unfortunately, the manufacturers know we check so they have found some other forms of sugar and words we might not associate with sugar to fill in the amount of sugar that the food actually contains. Here is the list of "Sugars" found in food:

  • Glucose or Dextrose
  • Corn Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Molasses
  • Evaporated Cane Juice (Sucrose)
  • Honey
  • Glucose-fructose (high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Agave
  • Fructose

If you are concerned with your weight, then it is a good idea to pay attention to what is really in our food. There is evidence that sugary beverages in particular can add pounds. In three studies, researchers found that people who consumed beverages made from sugar or glucose-fructose versus diet beverages (containing aspartame) over a three to ten week period gained weight. In fact only those drinking the sugar laden beverages gained weight.

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What Causes a Sugar Belly?

There is evidence that certain types of sugar are destined to end up as fat around our waists. When comparing fructose to glucose researchers gave already overweight men and women 25 per cent of their calories for the day from beverages that were either sweetened with fructose or glucose. The study lasted for ten weeks. Interestingly both groups gained about the same amount of weight. However, the new fat didn't end up in the same place.

One of the researchers, Kimber Stanhope of the University of California, Davis, reported that there was an increase of belly fat in those who were fed fructose. This type of fat is linked to higher risks of heart disease and diabetes. This kind of study was also done in Denmark and Switzerland.

The Danish study had their over weight subjects drink three cans a day of either regular cola (sweetened with sucrose), reduced-fat milk, diet cola (sweetened with aspartame), or water. After six months, the subjects drinking the regular cola had an increase in belly fat.

The Swiss researchers had normal weight subjects drink beverages each day with either 10 teaspoons of fructose, 20 teaspoons fructose, 20 teaspoons of glucose or 20 teaspoons of sucrose. The study was done for three weeks and the findings showed that the subjects drinking beverages with fructose had an increase in their waist to hip ratio

Sugar versus Sugar

Take a look at the ingredients on a can of Pepsi. The ingredients include glucose-fructose and/or sugar! What does that really mean?

Is glucose-fructose which is also known as high-fructose corn syrup the same as sugar? Researchers at the University of Florida reported that people who drank three cups of Dr. Pepper containing glucose-fructose had higher blood sugar levels over a six hour period than those who drank ones containing sucrose.

It is important to note that eating a lot of natural fruit juices can also have an impact on health. Vasanti Malik of Harvard University noted that people seem to have an increased risk of diabetes with juices but not whole fruit. This suggests that the fiber in fruit might reduce the risk of diabetes.

The best advice that all these researchers had was to drink more water, tea or coffee and keep the sweeteners to a minimum. If you still want something sparkling try adding some sliced lemon, lime or orange to sparkling water. Your waist will thank you.

What's In Your Food?

Read the ingredients on the side of a box or bag and your will find sugar included in the list. Researchers tell us that women should have no more than 100 calories (6 1/2 teaspoons) a day of added sugar and men no more than 150 calories (9 1/2 teaspoons). Here is a list of some popular food items and the amount of calories and sugars they contain.

Sweets:

  • Christie The Original Oreo (3 cookies) - 180 Calories = 3.5 tsp sugar
  • Starbucks Double Chocolate Brownie Bar - 430 Calories = 8 tsp sugar
  • Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate Bar - 210 Calories = 6.5 tsp sugar
  • Godiva Dark Chocolate Truffles Gems (4 pieces) - 200 Calories = 9.5 tsp sugar

Cereals:

  • Kellogg's Two Scoops Raisin Bran (1 cup) - 180 Calories = 1.5 tsp sugar
  • Kellogg's Original Frosted Mini-Wheats (21 biscuits) - 190 Calories = 2.5 tsp sugar
  • General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios (3/4 cup) - 110 Calories = 2.5 tsp sugar>
  • Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal (1 package) - 230 Calories = 3.5 tsp sugar

Cereal Bars:

  • Fiber 1 Oats & Peanut Butter Chewy Bar - 140 Calories = 3 tsp sugar
  • Quaker Vanilla Yogurt Granola Bar - 150 Calories = 3 tsp sugar
  • Clif Bar Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch - 250 Calories = 5 tsp sugar

Beverages:

  • Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (grande) - 240 Calories = 4 tsp sugar
  • Starbucks Vanilla Latte (grande) - 250 Calories = 4 tsp sugar
  • Starbucks Tazo Black Shaken Iced Tea (grande) - 80 Calories = 5.5 tsp sugar
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail (8 ounces) - 130 Calories = 5.5 tsp sugar
  • Coca-Cola (12 ounces) - 160 Calories = 10.5 tsp sugar
  • Gatorade Perform Fierce Grape (25 ounces) - 180 Calories = 10.5 tsp sugar
  • McDonald's Nestea Iced Tea (large) - 230 Calories = 15 tsp sugar
  • McDonald's Vanilla Triple Thick Milkshake (large) - 1,110 Calories = 26 tsp

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Simple Flavored Water

Cut out sugary sodas can be hard to do especially if you are trying to switch to drinking water. However, it only takes a second to turn a plain jug of water into something much more exciting. All you need to do is add a few handfuls of ice then add any one of these simple ingredients:

Add a few slices of fresh lemon or lime.

Quarter an orange, squeeze in all of the juice, then toss in the squeezed quarters for color and extra flavor.

Mash up a handful of strawberries or raspberries with a fork then add to the jug and stir through.

Scrunch a handful of fresh mint in your hands to get the flavor going then add that to the jug with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, add a few slices of cucumber too. It might sound strange, but it is seriously refreshing.

Beverages with More Sugar Than a Chocolate Bar!

There are a number of beverages that have loads of sugar but how much? When comparing a 1.55 oz Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar which has about 24 grams of sugar, these drinks will surprise you with the amount of sugar they contain!

Red Bull: This one really surprised me. It may be a very popular energy drink but it comes at a huge price when you look at the amount of sugar it contains: 27.5 grams in a 250ml can! Maybe it is more than the caffeine that keeps you up!

Vitamin Water XXX: Another surprise! It maybe marked as a healthy alternative to soft drinks, but their popular XXX flavors contain 32.5 grams of sugar.

Gatorade Fruit Punch: Lots of people drink Gatorade especially after a work out but in an 8 ounce serving there 14 grams of sugar while the 20 ounce size has 34 grams.

Coca Cola: I'm not surprised that this soft drink has lots of sugar, but you might want to reconsider having this beverage since it contains 65 grams of sugar in the single serving bottle!

Mountain Dew: I have to confess that I used to love this soft drink. Well, I won't be drinking it anymore. It contains 77 grams of sugar in a single serving bottle!

Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar

Updated: 05/26/2013, Gardenbella
 
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Tolovaj on 05/28/2013

I heard many shocking facts about sugar in our food and drink, but most of all is probably addition of sugar to meat (!), because this way meat suppose to have less fat (looking at percentage) and it could be classified as healthier... Weird world, huh?

WriterArtist on 05/28/2013

Excess salt and sugar in our recipes cause many diseases. We are spoiling our cuisines with adding a lot of these elements.

AnomalousArtist on 05/27/2013

Always such a shock to hear this news but it's essential info for good health, thanks for sharing!

katiem2 on 05/27/2013

There is way so much unnecessary sugar in so many foods, great article.

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