Yogurt, barbeque sauce, ice cream, flavored coffee, and cereal… what do all of these have in common? Added sugars! I don’t know about you, but I find all of those to be rather appealing items that I have consumed, or sometimes find myself craving. But, we may know, or have been told by a healthcare provider at some point, that sugars should be limited or possibly even eliminated in our diets. So, I decided to dig further to see what sugars are truly all about.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines sugars as the smallest type of carbohydrate. There are two categories of sugars: single sugars and multiple molecule sugars. You may have recognized these, if you have read food labels or perhaps taken a science course. Single sugars include Fructose, Galactose and Glucose. Complex sugars, or multiple molecule sugars, include Sucrose, Lactose and Maltose. Sugars are found both naturally in foods and more often, are added into foods for taste. In our bodies, sugar is broken down into glucose, which is our main source of energy. Therefore, a certain amount of daily sugars are needed. However, according to the FDA, most Americans are consuming more than the recommended amount of added sugars. They recommend consuming less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars. If you think about how much an average can of soda has (39 grams, which is about 13% of your daily amount), you have already exceeded the daily limit.
The question now is, what can you or I do going forward, to monitor our sugars? It is mo
st important to read the labels on food products and look for foods that have added sugars. As
many natural foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk contain sugars, avoiding more processed foods with add
ed sugars is key. Avoid adding extra sugar to food or try supplementing less sugar or more natural forms of sugar into your food.
To see the full scoop from the FDA on sugars, please follow the attached link: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/InteractiveNutritionFactsLabel/factsheets/Sugars.pdf