What's Your Sugar Burden?

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?