Tag Archives: sugary drinks

Sugar is Sugar – Tufts

Like you, I hope, I am working on eating intelligently. That means cutting back on the junk foods and nutrients that might taste great, but carry lots of empty calories or other elements that mess up my system in one way or another.

Here is Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter on that great bugaboo – sugar.

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In addition to those white crystals in your sugar bowl, added sugars come in many forms, including corn syrup, honey, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, fruit juice concentrates, and evaporated cane juice. Most forms of sugars are chemically similar, so switching from one kind of sugar to another won’t make a huge difference in terms of your health. The key is to cut back on sweet treats in general. It’s estimated that 75 percent of packaged foods sold in the U.S. contain added sugars. If you see a sweetener listed as one of the first three ingredients in a packaged food, it likely contains a significant amount of added sugar.

Nearly half of added sugars that people consume are in the form of sugar sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks, but also fruit drinks, coffee, tea, and sports and energy drinks. Other major sources of added sugars include sweets and snacks such as candy, ice cream, cookies, granola bars, flavored yogurts, cake, and doughnuts. People also get a significant amount of added sugars from less obvious sources, such as pasta sauces, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauces, breakfast cereals, breads, baked beans, and many other packaged foods.

Spotting Added Sugars in Packaged Foods

The American Heart Association recommends woman and children limit intake of added sugars to 6 teaspoons or less a day, and men aim for less than 9 teaspoons. But food labels list sugar in grams! To figure out roughly how many teaspoons of sugar are in a packaged food, divide the number of grams by 4.

Added sugars go by many names on package labels, but the body metabolizes them all in essentially the same way. Check ingredient lists for:

  • Sugar (white granulated sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, raw sugar, sugar cane juice)
  • Other common names for sugars: (cane juice, caramel, corn sweetener, fruit juice/fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses
  • Nectar (agave nectar, peach nectar, fruit nectar)
  • Syrup (corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, carob syrup, maple syrup, malt syrup)
  • Words ending in “-ose” (including sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, lactose, galactose, saccharose, or mannose)
  • Foreign or unusual names for sugars (demerara, muscovado, panela/raspadora, panocha/penuche, sweet sorghum, treacle)

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Filed under sugar, sugary soft drinks

Are sugary drink interventions cutting consumption?

I have written repeatedly about the ill effects of soft drinks, both sugary and diet, on our bodies. You can check out my Page – What’s wrong with soft drinks? for chapter and verse. So this item in Medical News Today citing efforts to curb sugary drink consumption caught my eye.

An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people’s habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

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Nutritionists at the University of Leeds have carried out the first comprehensive review of interventions to reduce sugary drinks consumption. The team analyzed 40 studies with 16,500 participants across three age groups: children, teenagers and adults.

Their study, published in the Obesity Reviews journal, found that children participating in these programs reduced their sugary drink intake by around 30%, removing nearly 2.5 teaspoons of sugar from a child’s average intake of 16 teaspoons per day.

Interventions aimed at teenagers saw sugary drink consumption reduced by nearly 10%. However, there was almost no measurable change in adults participating in these programs. Continue reading

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Filed under childhood obesity, diabetes, obesity, prediabetes, sugar, sugary soda, sugary soft drinks, Type 2 diabetes

Test Your Fast Food Smarts – Web MD Quiz

I really enjoy the information available from WebMD. They offer articles, studies and quizzes on healthy subjects.

I want to tell you about this recent one – Test Your Fast Food Smarts.
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I have been writing this blog for the best part of four years. As a result of this project, I have taken off 15 pounds from what I had thought was my ideal weight 165 pounds. In addition I have a resting heart rate below 50 beats per minute and my body fat remains under 17 per cent. Before I took the quiz I thought I had a really good fix on fast food even though I don’t eat very much of it. However, of the 16 questions in the quiz I got less than half of them right.

Here are a couple of examples of questions in the quiz. I hope they will whet your appetite for more info on the subject.

How many Americans eat fast food every day?

How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?

To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155 pound adult needs to? Ride a stationary bike hard for 30 minutes or do high impact aerobics for 30 minutes or strength train for 60 minutes?

On average a teen will grab a fast food meal that has how many calories? 500 to 800; 800 to 1100; 1100 to 1500 calories?

No, I am not going to spoil your fun by giving you any of the answers. I hope you will take the test and derive the full benefit from it. At the risk of using a cliche – You’ll thank me for it.

Tony

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Filed under aerobics, fast food, Mc Donald's, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training