How Much Sugar Are You Consuming?

The average American consumes, 18-23 teaspoons a day, or 2 pounds of sugar a week, about 2.5 times the recommended daily limit. That is equal to 100-156 pounds of sugar in a year! In the last 20 years we have increased sugar consumption in the United States from 26lbs. of sugar to 135lbs. of sugar per person every year. Sugar is the most widespread form of carbohydrate and the most common ingredient in processed foods. Half of our sugar intake come from “invisible” sugars (foods you don’t think would have sugar in them)

Even if you don’t feel like you are consuming a lot of sugar, you are most likely eating more sugar than your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Added sugar is found in many unexpected food items, including sliced bread, wheat crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and energy bars. Soft drinks are largest source refined sugar in children’s diet. Clinical studies show that sugar-free diets are more difficult to follow in the long-term. Sugar-free eating can trigger cravings for sweet foods and disordered eating. Being able to enjoy occasional sugary foods is important (remember moderation is KEY!)

There are many different names for sugar that are on food labels. The trick is if it ends in “ose” it is sugar. Just to name a few: honey, lactose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, corn sweetener, juice concentrate, natural sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. Remember to always read food labels and choose brands with lower sugar content. Also, keep in mind that artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, are two hundred times sweeter than sugar! It’s not ideal to consume artificial sweeteners if you want to reduce a sweet tooth.

If you are craving a sugary food, try reaching for a food that is naturally sweetened like fresh fruit. But remember,  just because it is a fresh fruit, doesn’t mean you can eat the whole bowl and not expect your blood sugar to rise. A lot of sugar into the bloodstream upsets body’s blood sugar balance, triggers release of insulin which the body uses to keep blood sugar at a safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (linked to weight gain and cardiovascular disease). High fiber content foods slows down process of digestion which results in slow release of glucose.

Sugar-quantity-in-common-foods

For more information: http://www.northjersey.com/news/196728311_Know_how_much_added_sugar_you_re_consuming__content_is_no_sweet_surprise.html?c=y&page=1

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/the-sweet-life-and-what-it-costs-us/

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/nhp/adults/documents/sugar.pdf

If It’s March, It’s National Nutrition Month!

Happy National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

This years theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices. Registered dietitians play a critical role in helping people eat right, their way, every day.

It’s important to realize that eating your way can be possible when you pay attention to portion control, smart eating, and including all food groups into your diet when possible. Anything can be incorporated into your diet– the important thing to recognize is that moderation is key. You can still indulge in your favorite foods, but pay attention to the serving sizes you eat and how often you eat a particular food item. Also, pay close attention to the beverages you consume! One 20 oz. bottle of soda is equal to one hour of walking to burn it off! Stick to water as much as possible (it’s all we need to survive!) Don’t look into diets, look into LIFESTYLE changes! Feed your body what it deserves: a balance of nutrients that make you glow and feel healthy because nothing looks as good as healthy feels!! And never forget that moving your body with some sort of physical activity is needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle as well!

Promote and support nutrition awareness starting today, for the rest of the month, and for the rest of your life! Today is the day to make a change and stick to it for a lifetime. You deserve to be happy and full of energy through nutrition and fitness!

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For more information: http://www.eatright.org/nnm/#.UTAUbze_CSo

National Heart Health Month

February is National Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Over one quarter of deaths are from heart disease. You have a greater risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. CDC provides tips for preventing heart disease.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Use salt in moderation
  • Monitor your weight to make sure you’re at a “healthy” weight
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times a week
  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, consider quitting
  • Consume alcohol in moderation
  • Have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis

Prevent-Heart-disease1

Fore more information: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-health-tips-for-preventing-heart-disease-20130130,0,7279098.photogallery