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Sneaky Sources of Sugar
In scary news, a recent report from the CDC found that women consume an average of 13.2 percent of their total daily calories from added sugars. Just how bad is that really? Well, the American Heart Association recommends that women limit their sugar intake to no more than 100 calories per day, or less than six percent of your total calories. That’s just 25 grams of sugar. So yeah, you should probably cut back on all those sweets.
This study specifically looked at added sugar, which includes any sugar used as an ingredient in processed foods (like white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, etc). Unfortunately, nutrition labels don’t distinguish between this and the naturally occurring stuff—like that in fruit or lactose (found in milk). That said, it’s safe to assume that a soda or muffin that doesn’t contain any fruit or lactose gets all of it’s sweetness from added sugar, says Shanthy Bowman, PhD, nutritionist at the USDA Food Services Research Group.
To play it safe, steer clear of anything with a super-high sugar count—regardless of whether it’s added or not—especially if the first few ingredients are sources of sugar other than fruit or lactose, says Bowman.
Here’s the thing, though: It’s not just cookies and brownies that you need to eliminate from your diet. These surprising items pack a sweeter punch than you might think (to give you a point of comparison, a 12-ounce can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, the same amount you’d find in nearly 10 sugar cubes):
Published on May 10th, 2013
Written by: Casey Gueren, Women’s Health Associate Online Editor