There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about how the American Heart Association is recommending that people limit their sugar intake. In a statement issued last Monday, the organization recommends that most women limit their sugar intake to 100 calories, or about six teaspoons, a day; and for men, the recommendation is 150 calories, or nine teaspoons daily.
The issue is that on the nutrition labels we see, sugar is listed in grams - a unit of weight, not volume like teaspoons . . . from what I can find, a teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to approximately 4.2 grams - so now you can do some division and see how many teaspoons are in your favorite food or beverage. You might be shocked!
A lot of health-conscious folks I know eschew soda, but do eat things like fruit-flavored yogurts and/or packaged juices, which usually do have a lot of sugar. Add to that ice cream, cookies, sugared cereals - well, by the end of the day you have yourself (in the words of some advertisement) "a sugar situation."
What to do? I don't like artificial sweeteners as an alternative - they're dubious in terms of long-term safety and to me, they're just another chemical to add to the soup that's already in our bodies (although, remember, I do love me a diet Coke once in a while - so moderation here too, friends!). I have noticed over the years that when I limit my sugar consumption, fruits, etc. taste sweeter to me. That is, when I wean myself off the hooch that is Halloween Candy, or Christmas cookies, or just a weekend bender involving Nabisco® Pinwheel® cookies and get back to fruits, I notice how sweet a peach can be, or a nice apple, or some strawberries or my other BFF of the summer, cantaloupe.
Don't get me wrong, I love sweets. Unless I had to for some extreme health reason, I'd never cut sugar completely out of my diet. I do, however, limit my consumption of foods with added sugars - keeps my empty calorie consumption down and makes more room for foods with nutritional value.
Do you have a "sugar situation" going on? Have you tried eliminating added sugars from your diet? Why? How long did you keep it up?