We have all heard it before: “Sugar is bad for you” or “Sugar rots your teeth”. Well I’m here to tell you that sadly it’s true. The good news though is not all sugar is created equal and I want to help you identify all the fun names that sugar has and other important info to look our here. The first part is that there are Added Sugars and Natural Occurring Sugar.
1. Understand the difference between Added Sugar & Natural Occurring Sugar:
Added Sugar is sugar that is added to a foods or beverages during processing or preparation
Natural occurring sugar is sugar that mother nature added like fructose found in fruits and lactose found in milk.
2. Look for the Added Sugars information on the Nutrition Facts Label: The USDA officially updated the label to know include Added Sugars to products which can help consumers identify if a certain product has added sugar and how much.
3. Do Some Math: If you look at the Nutrition Facts Label, it will tell you how much sugar is in that product. This is measured in grams, so we’ll need to do some math to figure out how many teaspoons are in the product. 4g = 1 teaspoon. *Here’s an example: A product has 40g of sugar, divide this by 4 and we get 10 teaspoons in a product.
4. Be sure to look at the list of ingredients on the Nutrition Facts Label: Sometimes we know that there is sugar in a product, but if you pay attention to the ingredients list at the bottom of nutrition label, you can see just how many types of sugar is in a product.
5. Identify the many names of Added Sugars: Sugar comes in many names and consistencies, learn to identify all the names that manufactures use for sugar. High-fructose corn syrup Corn sweetener Corn syrup Fruit juice concentrates Sugar molecules ending in “ose”
(dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose) Invert sugar Malt sugar Molasses Raw sugar Sugar Brown sugar Honey
6. Get the facts: According to the American Heart Association, women and children shouldn’t consume more than 6 teaspoons of Added Sugar, and for men, no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar.
7. Be mindful of what you eat and DRINK:
Most people don’t realize that they drink more sugar than they know, so it’s important to use these skills and figure out which products are best for you.