The sweet truth is that we all love processed foods, sugary drinks, desserts, and other baked goods just to name a few. Sugar is sweet, enhances flavor, texture, promotes browning of foods, aids in preservation and much more.
So here’s the sweet deal: Our goal is not to police, judge, or prevent you from devouring your favorite sweet indulgence. We just want you to have the sweet facts so you can make more informed decisions next time you are at your favorite donut shop!
Here are the some sugary facts:
- 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
- The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. (Source AHA)
- Added sugar is hidden in 74% of packaged foods. (Source Sugar Science)
- Too much fructose a common type of sugar can damage your liver just like too much alcohol. (Source Sugar Science)
- Two greatest offenders are sugary drinks and breakfast cereals.
- The body metabolizes sugar the same way- it does not say hey that is “honey” or that is “brown sugar”
Added versus Naturally Occurring
- Added sugars according to the American Heart Association 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).
- Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).
Get Label Savvy
According to the American Heart Association the line for “sugars” includes both added and natural sugars. Remember naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.
Next time you are grocery shopping have some fun and see if you can find some of these names on your favorite item. Always bare in mind that food that comes out of the ground and stays closest to its natural state will not have a food label. A good rule to have in mind is if the first and or second ingredient is sugar than skip the product.
- Brown sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt sugar
- Raw sugar
- Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
According to Dr. Pamela Peeke the world’s leading Food and Addiction Expert when you have refined sugar, it jacks up insulin. You turn on fat storage and turn off fat release. You can exercise all you want, but still won’t release weight. You can’t lose the fat because you locked it up with refined sugar. If you over-consume refined, processed sugars which are usually white such as table sugar, white rice, white pasta, white bread. They’ve literally been stripped of all of their original healthy nutrients and fibers and you’re left with, well, a lump of sugar!
Remember sugar is a simple carbohydrate and it is the only source of energy for the brain and red blood cells. The food pyramid recommendation is we should be ingesting about 45-65% of our caloric intake of carbs as healthy carbs, not the refined stuff. We are ok with sugar as long as its in a natural state. These come primarily from plant sources, have tons of fiber which will keep you full as well as regular. They include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
OMG Breaks Down “Ose”
Here is a simple breakdown of sugar:
Glucose = Sugar in your blood
Fructose = Sugar you find in fruits
Lactose = Sugar found in milk and milk products
Sucrose = Table sugar
Maltose = Sugar found in malted (barley) beer
Never Fear OMG Is Here
Just a friendly reminder we are not here to judge, or asking you to throw out everything in your pantry. But be mindful of some guidelines set by the American Heart Association. To our lady friends limit added-sugars to no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar). As for our gents and this is a bit unfair, but they are allowed 3 teaspoons more than us, 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of added-sugars).
There you have it. Now go and enjoy a piece of yummy fresh fruit which will benefit not just your body but mother earth will smile back at you!