Think Before You Drink!

sugar-meme-blogHow much can I have?

Women: 6 teaspoons per day (24 grams)

Men: 9 teaspoons per day (36 grams)

That includes all added sugars- white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, cane crystals, cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, crystalline fructose, corn syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, malt syrup, lactose, maltose, invert sugar, and fruit juice concentrate.

Where else is sugar commonly found?

Cake, fruit pies, croissants, doughnuts, cookies, candy, snack bars, sweetened yogurt, and ice cream.

Health Implications of excess sugar intake:

Overweight and obesity, dental decay, mood swings, acne,  high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and diabetes.

What about diet, low sugar or no added sugar drinks?

These types of drinks usually have artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc. ) added to them. Sweeteners are mainly used by diabetics and those who want to cut down on overall sugar intake for health reasons or weight control. Sweeteners have very low to zero calories and don’t raise blood sugars or promote insulin secretion. The FDA has also determined these sweeteners as safe however, there have been a number of new studies showing no overall weight benefit from these sugar substitutes. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners may even be detrimental to our health. Rule of thumb for controversial food products-limit or avoid.

How do I calculate how much sugar is in a product?

Let’s use a beverage as an example. This may get a little confusing, hence why I don’t like the HK nutrition information labels but at least it makes comparing products easy to do.

For Hong Kong:

Find out how many milliliters (ml) are in the bottle or carton.  Take that number and divide by 100 (nutrition information is based on 100ml). This first number is the number of 100ml portions. Now you can search for sugar on the label. Take the first number and multiply it by the sugar content. Now you get the second number which is the total number of grams per bottle. To figure out how many teaspoons of sugar are in a bottle, divide the final number by 4 (there are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon).

Ex: 500ml bottle/ 100ml= 5 x 8.5g sugar content =42.5 grams of sugar /4 = 10.6 teaspoons of sugar

For U.S.:

Grams of sugar in one servings x Number of servings = Grams of sugar in total package

Grams of sugar in total package / 4 = Teaspoons of sugar

Ex: 8.5g sugar x 5 servings =42.5 grams of sugar /4 = 10.6 teaspoons of sugar

Final Thoughts

My recommendation is to limit added sugar consumption to 4 teaspoons a day and to limit sugar substitute to no more than 2 packets a day. The first step into doing this is to avoid all sugary drinks. Choose unsweetened beverages such as tea, lemon water, or cucumber water. Check out my previous post 7 healthy drinks + Benefits for ideas.


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