Sugar has been a subject of conversation several times for me this week. So I thought it might be "fun" and eye opening to do a quick sugar study in my kitchen.
I had three conversations in the last two days with people about eating habits, sugar and stress. In my opinion these have become the downfall of our health. And let me preface this by saying, I have my weaknesses, potato chips! So I say this as much for myself as for you. We have ignored the signals long enough. We've come up with every excuse in the book! Any health coach or nutritionist worth their weight in gold will tell you, you're either all in or your not. We have the choice. There is no quick fix here!
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. The AHA limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but range between 3-6 teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day. Yet, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day. That translates into about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person. How much is 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of sugar? There are 6 teaspoons of sugar in one container of low-fat yogurt (I found some brands with 16-28 grams) and 6 teaspoons of sugar in a glass of apple juice. This really peaked my interest in knowing where the sugar is hiding. So I decided to take a quick look in my kitchen for hidden sugar. Given the fact that I am more of a salt girl, than a sugar girl, I didn't expect to find too much...
Boy was I surprised!
In my fridge the worst thing I have is juice! The ingredients in my pink grapefruit juice are all natural from concentrate, like beets, carrots and grapefruit. I bought it because it has NO High Fructose Corn Syrup. But it does have 28g of sugar. I don't drink this juice on a daily basis. Usually we drink it on Sunday with our breakfast. But what about people who do drink it daily and maybe even several times a day. I drink vanilla unsweetened almond milk with less than 1g of sugar. Also in my fridge is creamer, 5g (which when I measure out what I really put in my cup I'm actually consuming more like 20g.) Big eye opener! I knew it, but when you actually measure it, WOW! Salsa has 2g and Ranch dressing 1g. I like to have an English muffin with peanut butter in the morning with a hard boiled egg. My English muffin has 1g., peanut butter has 3g. and my egg has 0g. Going through my cupboard I don't have a lot of sugar, but pasta has 2g., canned diced tomatoes have 4g. and I do have a few pieces of dark chocolate that have been in there since last fall. And those little boxes of raisins, well, 18g. I don't buy granola bars, but I do make my own granola and would equate the sugar to be about 8g. I could work on getting that lower by changing my recipe up a bit. Now onto the important stuff, Beer 0g, Wine .9g and 1.4g red and white respectively. And those chips!? 0g. However, PLEASE NOTE ! This is just a study of added sugar NOT carbs! The items I listed last have more carbs. That is also something to pay attention to because starchy foods break down into sugar. Then you get into the glycemic index and all that good stuff. For that you should really work with someone who is educated and trained in nutrition to learn what works best for your body!
So, there you have it! This took me about 15 minutes to go through and make a list. Granted, as empty nesters we don't have a lot of food on hand. I cook all meals from scratch and it is rare that I will have anything to eat in my freezer other than meat or fruit. I changed my eating style several years ago to get off of cholesterol and hbp meds. What I did to change my eating habits worked for me, but we are all different and our diets should fit us as an individual. With that being said, what you think you are eating and what you are actually eating probably don't line up. If you are really serious of making a change, Heather Page of Healthy Decadence will be starting her RESTART program again in February at the Wellness Wheel. This is a 5 week program focusing on sugar detox, healthy cooking, fat study and digestive health. You can link to the event below. The next class begins February 21.
Link Here <<Healthy Decadence >>