We eat organic foods for the most part and I make a lot of our meals, so we eat healthy… that is, I thought… until I started this no added sugar challenge. I assumed when I started this, the only supporting articles out there would be from “nutty” blogs or granola types, but the facts are there in rock solid research from big names like Harvard, Mayo Clinic, etc…
“The American Heart Association has even more-specific guidelines for added sugar — no more than 100 calories a day from added sugar for most women and no more than 150 calories a day for most men. That’s about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 for men. ” – Mayo Clinic
Whether you are new to this subject or not, you realize that this is a tiny amount of calories for our given intake, and the second you start to examine your foods, you will start to unravel how our average (I am sure there are those out there who grow their own veggies, hunt their own meat and eat off the land only, but for the rest of us…) daily diet is loaded with added sugar. 100 calories is nothing… 4 calories for every single gram of added sugar. That means 25 grams of sugar and you are done for your daily intake for added sugars. Let’s look at 100 calories in terms of various products that contain added sugar:
Typical “diet” lunch:
2 slices of Oroweat Health-Full 10 Grain bread = 2gx2 = 4 grams of sugar = 16 calories
Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil – 1 gram = 4 calories
For argument’s sake say you chose a “fat free” cheese – 2 grams of sugar = 8 calories
Sliced ham – this is a range but typically cured in sugar – 1-2 grams = 4-8 calories
Baked BBQ Lays = 3 grams of sugar = 12 calories
100 calorie pack of Oreos (pick any of the 100 calorie “treats” and you will get about the same result) – 9 grams of sugar, yes, 9. – 36 calories
Diet soda – jury is still out but countless studies (hey I still have a Diet Dr. Pepper a day… so no judgment here!) say our bodies treat it the same as sugar. 0 grams
Lunch Total – 80-84 calories just from added sugar
Let’s say you brought a yogurt and apple for a snack later in the day:
Apple – 0 grams of added sugar
Yoplait Whips (because the original has EVEN MORE sugar – see image below for a side by side comparison) – 21 EFFING grams – 84 calories from sugar… that was your lunch! Light does drop down to 10 grams of sugar so only 40 calories of sugar, but still.. that’s a lot of sugar.
I thought I was adept at spotting calorie bombs, fiber and trans fats, but I am obviously a newbie at this added sugar challenge. Those little yogurt cups are a dessert… and really, really bad for us, that’s what I learned from looking for the images for this post!