Sugar pie honey pie

Written by amy on October 30th, 2013

Americans have a sweet tooth and its getting them in big trouble, health-wise.  Unfortunately, food manufacturers continue to manipulate this sweet tooth by adding more and more sweeteners to increase their sales.  According to a recent survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the added sugar in our diets (about 30%) comes from sweetened beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks.  This comes as no surprise.  The percentage of calories that come from sweetened beverages has nearly doubled since the 1970’s and these drinks have long been the target of public health campaigns, including most recently the soda tax.

Yes, decreasing the intake of sweetened beverages would be beneficial at reducing the contribution of added sugars to the diet. But are we missing the bigger picture?  If 30% of calories come from the added sugars in drinks, this means that a whopping 70% of added sugars comes from foods, such as candy, breakfast cereals, and desserts. Sweeteners are also creeping into other foods as well, such as such as crackers, tomato sauce, and salad dressings.

Ingredients on a food label are listed in descending order by weight.  Avoid choosing foods that have a sweetener within the first few ingredients in the list or have multiple sweeteners in the ingredient list.  This handout can help identify the various sweeteners used by food manufacturers.

 

 

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