by Sara Reistad-Long in Food News, March 7, 2014
by Toby Amidor in Food News, February 5, 2014
In this week’s news: The World Health Organization doesn’t sugarcoat its advice; fruits and vegetables feel the love (even in school cafeterias); and food labels get ready for their makeover.
No More Sweet Talk
Studies have associated sugar with everything from headaches to heart disease, and yet most of us still get 18% of our total caloric intake from the stuff. That’s about 22 teaspoons each day. Here in the United States, nutritionists have long lobbied to coax us down to about 10%. But the international community is taking an even harder line. This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) brought its recommendation down to 5%, or about 100 calories per day. The recommendation is yet another strong case for transparent food labels, but until the new ones come out, here’s a crib sheet for some of the most sugar-stuffed packaged foods: Ketchup, salad dressing, soup, crackers, flavored yogurt, spaghetti sauce, bread, frozen dinners, granola, protein bars, shakes and (yep!) sushi.
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, February 5, 2014
In this week’s nutrition news: There’s no sugar-coating a new study on heart disease; scientists back every mom who has ever nagged about breakfast; and — who cares? — most people don’t believe a word of dietary advice, anyway.
Heartbreak for Sugar Lovers
A new study released this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found that sugar fiends may be in for more heart trouble than they realize. The study observed an association between higher sugar consumption and risk of death from heart disease. But added sugar isn’t found only in sweet foods like soda, cakes and ice cream. Researchers cautioned that savory foods like salad dressing also contain added sugars.
by Toby Amidor in Diets & Weight Loss, January 2, 2014
It may not surprise anyone that a 20-ounce bottle of soda can contain anywhere from 15 to 22 teaspoons of sugar per serving, but sugar is also lurking in less obvious places. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines suggest no more than 10 teaspoons a day of added sugar, but if you’re not paying attention, those spoonfuls can add up fast. Here are 5 sources of sugar found in seemingly healthy choices.
by Jason Machowsky in Healthy Tips, November 26, 2013
When the New Year arrives and the weight loss promises are made, the diet advice soon follows — and lots of it. But you’re better off ignoring these five “helpful” suggestions.
by Dana Angelo White in Healthy Tips, September 16, 2013
Many people are addicted to sugar, even if they don’t realize it. Sugar is hidden in cereal, bread and sauces. It’s poured into desserts, soda and coffee drinks. It lurks in processed foods in many forms (syrups, cane juice, fructose and turbinado, to name just a few). Consuming all of this sugar increases our desire for it, as evidenced by research demonstrating how sugar activates the brain’s reward systems much the way drugs do.
by Dana Angelo White in Ask the Experts, June 18, 2013
Trying to reach for healthy snacks but the sugary treats are calling you? Use these strategies to help douse that sugar-fueled fire.
Kick the Artificial Habit
Research suggests that folks who consume large amounts of artificial sweeteners may increase their likelihood to crave other sweet foods and pack on the pounds. Trying to cut back on sugar? Then cut back on the faux sugars too.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, May 20, 2012
Q: What’s the deal with all the types of sugar out there? Are they all created equal?
A: Simply . . . no, all sugars are not created equal. But learning how to identify the different types is where it gets complicated.
Whether it’s run-of-the-mill granulated white sugar, high fructose corn syrup or something that sounds fancier, such as turbinado or raw sugar – these are all sweeteners. These ingredients are added to foods as they are processed or prepared. The distinct flavor and degree of sweetness will vary, but no matter which type you’re dealing with, these sweeteners are a pure source of carbohydrate and have about 15 calories per teaspoon. When hefty doses of these types of added sugars are eaten, it can lead to weight gain and poorly controlled blood sugar levels.
The most significant sources of added sugar in the American diet are baked goods, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.
For a complete list of what qualifies as an added sugar on ingredient label, visit the MyPlate website.
by Toby Amidor in Food News, May 1, 2012
This country is on a never-ending sugar high! We consume over three times the daily recommended amount of added sugar each day. One easy way to drop your sugar intake is to skip the sugary mixes and bottled beverages and take control of how much sugar’s in your drinks.
The American Heart Association recommends that women should eat no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) of sugar each day, while men shouldn’t eat more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories). Studies reveal that we’re overindulging on added sugar, consuming 475 calories of added sugar every day.
Close to 40% of added sugar comes from sugary drinks like soda, sports and energy drinks, according to published data in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A 16-fluid ounce container of a sports drink has 7 teaspoons of added sugar (105 calories) while the same amount of soda has over 12 teaspoons of added sugar (180 calories). Energy drinks are full of added sugar too, with an 8.3 fluid ounce can of a popular brand containing 6.5 teaspoons (98 calories).
by Toby Amidor in Diets & Weight Loss, April 10, 2012
- Is this sweet stuff toxic?
First fat was the enemy, then it was salt and now sugar. A recent episode of 60 Minutes titled “Is Sugar Toxic” had folks buzzing over Twitter and whispering at the water cooler. But is sugar really the enemy or is this yet another nutrient that’s being needlessly blackballed?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, who claims that sugar is to blame for diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Much of the fat that’s been removed from low-fat foods gets replaced with sugar and Dr. Lustig hypothesizes that the way people eat sugar today is putting their health at risk. Sources of sugar include honey and table sugar along with foods that have hidden sources of sugar like yogurt, sauces, bread and peanut butter. As a result, Dr. Lustig recommends eliminating all sugar from our diet.
- Weigh the crazy dieting advice you receive very carefully.
Trying to shed pounds for bathing suit season? Be careful how you go about losing the weight. There’s so much nutrition misinformation out there—don’t get sucked into thinking you’ve found the magic way. Although there are many dieting faux pas out there, here are 5 common misconceptions I often hear.
#1: Avoid All Fruit
Fruit is nature’s candy and contains a form of sugar called fructose. Before you shun all sugar, it’s important to understand the source. Oftentimes, folks confuse natural sugar found in fruit with added sugar found in cookies, candy and sugary drinks.
Fruit contains about 60 calories per serving and a ton of vitamins, minerals, fiber and special plant chemicals that help fight disease. The sources of added sugar (like sodas, chocolate bars) typically contain hundreds of calories and not many nutrients. Of course, you need to balance out fruit with other foods, but any healthy diet plan should include several servings of fruit each day.