We all know that sugar intake in high amounts can be disastrous for our overall health. The notorious added sugar content in products has often been associated with diseases such as heart failure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, studies reveal that too many people already consume far too many artificial sugars. Most individuals in the U.S. don’t exceed the preferable daily amount of artificial sugar.
However, the average sugar intake of an American is around 60 grams (15 tsp.) per day.
This is because a huge part of the sugar content is hidden from the labels of the processed foods they later mark as ‘healthy’. And it’s not only cakes, and sweets manufacturers add sugars into, but almost 74% of all market products are laden with it, including savory foods like pasta sauce and bread (1).
So, it doesn’t really matter if you skip the dessert, you still consume an excessive amount of sugar content in your daily diets anyhow.
How to Spot the Difference
The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) demands that manufacturers list all of the ingredients on their product labels. But artificial sugars come in various forms and names, thus making it hard for us to spot them straight away.
So far, sugar goes by at least 61 names on the label of a product, including high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, rice syrup, barley malt, etc.
Nowadays is even more difficult for one to be aware of how much artificial sugar he/she consumes throughout the day. While manufacturers list the total amount of sugar on their product labels, they are not obliged to state whether that number involves artificial sugar, and if so – how much.
The origins of sugar are also vague, as we cannot tell whether they derive from natural products like milk and fruits or not. Hence, it is imperative that you discover more about it and raise your level of consciousness.
How Much Sugar is Ok?
Unlike fats and salt that persist in foods, nutrition labels don’t deliver the reference for daily values of artificial sugar.
On the other hand, the AHA (American Heart Association) suggests that men shouldn’t utilize more than 38grams (9tsps) of artificial sugar per day, while women shouldn’t exceed the number of 25grams (6tsps).
The AHA children’s limits range between 12-25 grams/ day (3-6tsps). However, it may vary hinging on their age as well as their caloric requirements.
Even ‘Healthy’ Products Can Be Laden in Sugars
One 12oz soda contains around 46grams of sugar (11 teaspoons), which exceeds the AHA endorsements for men, and is almost twice the limit for women and children.
But sweet goods and beverages are not the only ones containing sugar. There is a host of other ‘healthy’ market sold products that are full of it, including:
- 1 serving of yogurt – 29gr (7tsps);
- Whole grains and fruity breakfast bars – 15gr;
- 1 serving of raisin bran cereal – 20gr;
- Pomegranate/cranberry juice – 30gr/8oz;
- 100% Vitamin C – 30gr.
Some of the sugars inside a market product occur naturally, but most of them are chemicals.
Altering Labels to Aid Consumers
Making health-conscious choices entails a complete list of ingredients on the product labels. It’s hard to make a decision when sugars are unrecognizable in almost every market product out there.
As a solution to this problem, the FDA considers highlighting the amount of artificial sugar content on the labels. They will do so by altering the current label designs as well as the measures of the serving sizes.
Until then, you’ll find this article useful on how and why to stay away from artificial sugars. Do share it with your friends anyway, to raise global awareness!