Do you know everything you should about sugar?

| April 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Courtesy graphicThe current Nutrition Facts Label lumps all sugars together, which can make it difficult to determine sugars that occur naturally in the product (like those from fruit) or from sugars that were added during processing.  The new Nutrition Facts Label, debuting in July of 2018, will include grams of added sugar on the label, making it easier to spot those sugars that have been included by the manufacturer.

Courtesy graphicThe current Nutrition Facts Label lumps all sugars together, which can make it difficult to determine sugars that occur naturally in the product (like those from fruit) or from sugars that were added during processing. The new Nutrition Facts Label, debuting in July of 2018, will include grams of added sugar on the label, making it easier to spot those sugars that have been included by the manufacturer.


Lt. Col. Julie Hudson
Tripler Army Medical Center
HONOLULU — Most of us have a sweet tooth. Yes, you probably already knew we like our sugars.

But did you know that on average, Americans consume 19.5 teaspoons of sugar per day? This is approximately 2-3 times the recommended amount!

The American Heart Association’s recommendation is no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. This equates to about 25 grams of sugar for women and 38 grams for men per day. A teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to 4.2 grams of sugar.

When looking at a food label, simply divide the grams of sugar in the product by four to see how many teaspoons of sugar you are eating. For example, one 20 ounce bottle of soda contains approximately 69 grams of sugar (that is over 17 teaspoons). Choosing even one sugar sweetened soda per day puts you well over the recommend amount.

Other sugar demons
But, it’s not just sodas; it’s any sugar-sweetened beverage. That 16 ounce caramel macchiato has about 8 teaspoons of sugar, and most sports drinks contain 7 teaspoons of sugar per 20 ounces.

What’s the harm in a little extra sugar? Well, sugar calories are empty calories. They supply energy, but have no nutritional value.

There’s no fiber to help increase satiety and decrease appetite. Sugar doesn’t provide any protein, to help build and repair muscles. It isn’t even a significant source of vitamins or minerals.

Additionally, excess sugar intake can lead to weight gain and increased risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Yet, we find added sugars in a surprising array of grocery store options.

It seems that manufacturers add sugar to almost everything like ketchup, bread, pasta sauces, cereals, snack bars, barbecue sauce, salad dressing and even peanut butter.

Take the time to compare food labels, and you’ll find products you enjoy that contain less added sugars.

Research
The current Nutrition Facts Label lumps all sugars together, which can make it difficult to determine sugars that occur naturally in the product (like those from fruit) or from sugars that were added during processing.

The new Nutrition Facts Label, debuting in July of 2018, will include grams of added sugar on the label, making it easier to spot those sugars that have been included by the manufacturer. Until then, when you compare products at the grocery store, review the ingredient list and look for products that don’t list sugar, maltose, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, honey or fruit juice concentrate as one of the first two or three ingredients.

Even organic sugar is still sugar. It’s not a health food.

Consider options
If you want to decrease the amount of added sugars in your diet, start by rethinking your drink choices. Simply substituting water or mineral water for sugar sweetened beverages will get most of us much closer to the American Heart Association’s recommendations.

Be sure to review labels and choose lower sugar options. Making the switch will save you empty calories and allow you to enjoy more whole foods in your day.
(Editor’s note: Hudson is chief, Nutrition Care Division at TAMC.)

TAMC Nutrition
For more information on nutrition and improving your eating habits, contact the Tripler Army Medical Center Nutrition Clinic at (808) 433-4950.

Tripler Army Medical Center logoTAMC Tip
Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is cut off or when a blood vessel bursts.

If you think that you or someone else is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

All the major symptoms of stroke appear suddenly, and often there is more than one symptom at the same time. With timely treatment, the risk of death and disability from stroke can be lowered.

By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can be prepared to take quick action and perhaps save a life – maybe even your own.

Take a few minutes to learn the five major signs and symptoms of a stroke:

1-Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms or legs.
2-Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others.
3-Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
4-Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
5-Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T and do the following simple test:

F-Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A-Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S-Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
T-Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Category: Health

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