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Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

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Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Breezey Breezey on Wed May 07, 2014 11:37 am

By Sarah Baldauf Aug. 24, 2009 SHARE
Added sugars, which are sprinkled on and processed into packaged foods and beverages, have become all too common in the American diet, says the American Heart Association. The group argues that sugar bingeing is helping drive the uptick in metabolic changes in the American population, including the exploding obesity rate, and has now recommended an upper limit on daily consumption. Women should consume no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars, and men should not top 150 calories per day. There goes the soda habit: One 12-ounce can contains about 8 teaspoons or about 33 grams of added sugar, which equals approximately 130 calories, notes the AHA. (One gram of sugar serves up 4 calories, according to the American Dietetic Association.)

With math like that, it's not surprising that the average American rings up an average of 22.2 teaspoons, or 355 calories per day, of added sugars, mostly from sugar-sweetened beverages. But those who shun sweet-tasting drinks are not off the hook. Part of the challenge of avoiding added sugars, argues the AHA, is that they have become far more prevalent over time; the amount of added sugars in Americans' food options increased 19 percent between 1970 and 2005. Here are 11 sneaky dietary sources that are surprisingly high in added sugars:

Fortune cookies. Just one fortune cookie packs about 3.6 grams of added sugar.

Flavored booze. Exercise good judgment when you drink: One ounce of crème de menthe has 14 grams of added sugar; 53-proof coffee-flavored liqueur has 16 grams of added sugar per ounce.

Baked beans. A one-cup serving of canned baked beans with no salt added will cost you nearly 15 grams of added sugar.

Dried, sweetened cranberries. Without the sweetener, this fruit can be incredibly tart. But one serving—a third of a cup—of this treat will hit you with 25 grams of added sugar.

Ketchup. A favorite condiment, a single one-cup serving of regular—or low sodium—ketchup racks up nearly 40 grams of added sugar.

Cream substitutes. A one-cup serving of a liquid "light" cream substitute packs 22 grams of added sugar, while a one-cup serving of a powdered "light" cream substitute adds a whopping 69 grams.

BBQ sauce. A one-cup serving of this summertime favorite adds 9 grams of added sugar onto those ribs and chicken.

"Reduced" salad dressings. A one-cup serving of reduced-calorie French dressing heaps 58 grams of added sugar, and a one-cup serving of reduced-fat coleslaw dressing hits a home run with 103 grams of added sugar.

Lemonade. A cup of lemonade powder has a massive 200 grams of added sugar. A single serving of the drink has almost 17 grams of added sugar.

Flavored popcorn. Think the added sweetener can't be that bad here? Fat-free-syrup caramel popcorn has 18 grams of added sugar per ounce serving.

Granola bars. Often deemed a healthful snack, some are tricky—a 1-ounce serving of a granola bar with oats, fruit, and nuts has 11 grams of added sugar.

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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Breezey Breezey on Wed May 07, 2014 11:39 am

Sugar Has Many Disguises

Careful reading of labels is necessary to know how much added sugar you are getting. Sometimes there will be small amounts of many types of sugars, so none of them end up being in the the first few ingredients of the label. Other times, sugar masquerades as apparently more “healthy” ingredients, such as honey, rice syrup, or even “organic dehydrated cane juice”. These are sugar. Sometimes fruit juice concentrates will be used, which sound wholesome, but usually the juices chosen, such as white grape, apple, and pear juices, are among the least nutritious of the juices. By the time they are “concentrated”, very little remains but the sugar.

Here is a list of some of the possible code words for “sugar” which may appear on a label. Hint: the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. If the label says “no added sugars”, it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).
Agave Nectar
Barley Malt Syrup
Beet Sugar
Brown Rice Syrup
Brown Sugar
Cane Crystals (or, even better, "cane juice crystals")
Cane Sugar
Coconut Sugar, or Coconut Palm Sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Dextrin
Dextrose
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fructose
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
Lactose
Maltodextrin
Malt syrup
Maltose
Maple syrup
Molasses
Palm Sugar
Raw sugar
Rice Syrup
Saccharose
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Sucrose
Syrup
Treacle
Turbinado Sugar
Xylose

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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Breezey Breezey on Wed May 07, 2014 11:40 am

I'm beginning to take a better look at just how much sugar, of some kind, is in just about all we eat or drink.

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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Tater Salad on Thu May 08, 2014 2:44 am

That's one big reason why fast food and processed foods, such as frozen microwave meals should be scrutinized thoroughly for the nutritional values. A serving of steak, for example, in itself contains virtually no sugar. However, and a tablespoon of BBQ sauce or ketchup. and BAM, you just added 30 0r 40 calories of sugar.

Most veggies, straight up, also add little or no sugar, and if you eating fresh carrots, for example, the sugar content that it has, maybe a couple of grams, is natural sugar, not added and refined. Sweet potatoes are the same way, but if you buy them canned, and candied, you just went from a few grams to maybe 15, and from all natural sugars to mostly refined sugars, which generally have almost no nutritive value, just added calories.

You may also want to consider something as basic as oatmeal. By itself, it has no sugar, no salt, and is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. But if you buy the individual packets of flavored oatmeal, you just added an unhealthy amount of both processed sugar and salt.

Another good example is many salad dressings; even some that you wouldn't think need any sugar at all, add quite a bit. A simple way around this? Add equal amounts of oil and vinegar to a cruet, and add a pinch of garlic and onion powder (not garlic or onion salt), and a pinch of every italian seasoning you have in your kitchen (i.e.; oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme...) The resulting dressing will contain NO sugar OR salt, and will taste delicious.

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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Breezey Breezey on Thu May 08, 2014 7:32 am

Hey Tater, I'm going to give your dressing "recipe" a try and see what I think. Thank you. smile2

It's beginning to be a wonder any foods DON'T have sugar added! When did we become so use to added sweeteners to everything and why?


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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Tater Salad on Fri May 09, 2014 3:44 am

I think it's because marketing departments discovered through taste tests that the average person preferred foods that tasted sweeter. Even foods that aren't normally associated with sugar, like potato chips, often have added sugar if they are flavored. And even if they aren't flavored, baked potato "crisps", which aren't actually potato chips at all, but are made with re-hydrated potatoes, have added sugar.

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Re: Sugar in foods... are we surprised at all?

Post by Breezey Breezey on Fri May 09, 2014 6:56 pm

Giving more thought to what all has sugar and how to work around having all that sugar.
Going for fruit salad with no sugar added, whip cream for the fruit with no sugar added... hmmm....
I don't think I can cut sugar out completely, but can cut way down on it.

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