Sugar can be a natural component in food choices or an added ingredient improving the overall food product or recipe flavor, texture, and palatability. Sugar adds calories but not necessarily vitamins/ minerals compared to other carbohydrate foods. Sugar is categorized as a “simple” more refined carbohydrate. It is broken down into glucose faster and then absorbed quicker into the body. If consuming 2,000 calories per day, one’s sugar intake would equate to about 20 teaspoons.
Recommendations for added sugar consumption are:
- Women-no more than100 calories (6 tsp.) daily
- Men-no more than 150 calories (9 tsp.) daily
To attain those recent recommendations, modify your food and beverage choices by:
- reading labels for sugar, syrup, and carbohydrates ending in “ose” ingredients
- reducing those extra condiments, toppings, and candies that quickly increase sugar, calorie totals
- researching websites that explain sugar reduction and/or modifying using natural or artificial sweeteners in home recipes
- increasing intake of fresh, whole fruits and vegetables with natural vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients
- increasing complex whole-grain carbohydrate foods, snack foods rich in fiber
- reducing sweetened beverages except those that are calcium & vitamin-D rich
- drinking more water with zero calories, no added sugars
An added benefit to controlling your intake of “simple” carbohydrates (sugars) would be maintaining a normal weight as recommended by physicians and other health professionals and keeping active!