For a woman who grew up next door to a candy store, sugar has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember including when I’d return a glass soda bottle for 2 cents and could pick out two pieces of candy.
So, it was with great interest but trepidation when I saw a Granite State University class on “It’s the Sugar! Makes You Fat, Sick and Tired.” The class was full, and there was a waiting list.
After two hours of sugar 101, I came away with some interesting information, and what kind of blogging friend would I be if I didn’t share (and ruin your day as well)?
- White wine is lower in sugar than red – that’s the only thing I’m doing right. 🙂
- The average person eats somewhere between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar a day adding up to a whopping 75-150 lbs of sugar per year. I couldn’t help but picture all those 5 lb. bags of granulated sugar stacked up together.
- White granulated sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets while High Fructose Corn Syrup comes from Corn. A product labeled ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it is healthy, it just means it came from cane, beets or corn, and now they are marketing it under a ‘natural’ heading.
- A ‘reduced sugar’ product has to have 25% less sugar than the regular item.
- ‘No sugar added’ means no table sugar, but it can have other manufactured sugars.
- Artificial sweeteners are man-made chemicals with Spenda being the #1 seller with 62% of the world market. Equal and NutraSweet come in second. Donald Rumsfeld was the CEO of NutraSweet and couldn’t get Aspartame approved until his friend Ronald Reagan got in office. Sweet & Low comes in last because Saccharin is made out of coal and tar. It had a health warning label on the box until Bill Clinton gave it a ‘food pardon’ as he was leaving office.
- Trivia, Stevia, and Pyure are sugar alcohols which means they are half sugar and half chemicals.
- Overweight is described as being 20 lbs. over suggested weight, and obesity is 30 lbs. over that weight. From 1940-1970, the obesity rate was around 12-14%. In 2015, 68% of the US population was either overweight or obese with 31% of our youth classified as obese.
It is recommended that a person should consume less than 2 tablespoons or 25 grams of sugar per day. I drink a large cup of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon. I calculate that I use 16 grams just in my coffee.
If the amount of sugar in your daily diet concerns you, just google it and there is a wide range of information available for reading. Can anyone get rid of all sugar in their diet? It’s possible, but most people aren’t willing to go to that length.
I came away with a livable reality check. Look at ingredient lists and check the first three items. (Water doesn’t count.) If one of those first three ingredients is some type of sugar or sweetener, toss it out and get something else. That I can work on. But remember, my mother’s maiden name was Sweet. It may be a more challenging road for me than you or so I tell myself. 🙂