Regular readers know that I have had a real problem with the amount of sugar in a number of McDonald’s offerings. I wrote about their Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, the Shamrock Shake and, most recently, the Chocolate Chip Frappe.
All my write ups were in terms of the AMOUNT of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women eat no more than 100 calories (six teaspoons) and men no more than 150 calories (nine teaspoons) of sugar a day. Yet most Americans get about 350 daily calories from sugar — enough to gain almost 40 pounds a year.
Along those same lines the American Heart Association (AHA) wrote a good summary on sugars in our diet in terms of how many CALORIES they add.
“There are two types of sugars in American diets: naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.
• Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).
• Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Added sugars (or added sweeteners) can include natural sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar and honey as well as other caloric sweeteners that are chemically manufactured (such as high fructose corn syrup).
“You can use sugars to help enhance your diet. Adding a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods (especially for children) that provide important nutrients, such as whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt, is better than eating nutrient-poor, highly sweetened foods.
Sources of added sugars . The major sources of added sugars in American diets are regular soft drinks, sugars, candy, cakes, cookies, pies and fruit drinks (fruitades and fruit punch); dairy desserts and milk products (ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk); and other grains (cinnamon toast and honey-nut waffles).
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified some common foods with added sugars. The table below lists a few examples and the number of calories from added sugars they contain. Note the calories here are only from added sugars in the food, not the total amount of calories in the food.
Food Calories from added sugars/serving
Carbonated soda,12 oz. can 132.2
Canned peaches in heavy syrup, 1 cup 115.4
Jelly beans, 10 large 78.4
Non-fat fruit yogurt, 6 oz. container 77.5
Milk chocolate, 1 bar (1.55 oz) 77.4
Cake doughnut (1) 74.2
Sweetened condensed milk, 1 fl oz 73.8
Fruit punch drink, 12 oz can 62.1
Angel food cake, 1 piece 60.4
Chocolate puff cereal, 1 cup 56.4
Vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup 48
Pancake syrup, 1 tbsp 26.5
Chocolate chip cookies (1) 13.6
Cinnamon raisin bagel (4” diameter) 12.8