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Nutrition Blog

How Sweet It Is

Category: Tips

Are you riding the sugar rollercoaster…hungry and craving, digging into sweets, feeling that sugar rush, and then crashing, and craving again.  If your days are filled with vanilla lattes, sugary cereal, granola bars, sodas, and other tempting treats, you just might be on the sugar rush ride of your life.

Sugar is an empty food that lacks powerful nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, minerals or fiber. Eating too much sugar can lead to obesity, a higher risk of diabetes tooth decay, and an overload on your glucose-insulin system.

Check out the ingredient label on your favorite products and look for: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, sucrose, glucose, inverted sugar, cane sugar, dextrose, honey, molasses, syrup, and oh so many more!

Manufacturers also list sugar on natural and organic products as cane juice, evaporated cane juice, crystalline fructose, raw sugar, and other natural yet sugary components.  Natural or not…it still counts as sugar!

Just remember that both milk (lactose) and real fruit (fructose) contain natural sugars but aren’t listed any differently on the nutrition label.  Check the ingredient list for non-fat or skim milk, pureed strawberries, blueberries or other natural ingredients.

Stevia works well as a sweetener for coffee, green tea and other beverages.

Most Americans consume 142 pounds of sugar a year or a whopping 48 teaspoons per day.  Knowing the sugar content on some of your favorites just might scare you off the rollercoaster!


12 ounce soda
10 teaspoons sugar
TIP: Try more water, green tea, diet soda or low calorie beverages such as Vitamin Water 10

1 cup sweetened breakfast cereal
4-5 teaspoons sugar
TIP:  Look for cereal with less than 8 grams of sugar per serving that also includes 5 or more servings of fiber

Some energy/power bars (20 grams sugar)
5 teaspoons sugar
TIP:  Look for energy bars that are higher in protein and good fats and limit sugar to less than 8 grams per serving.  Some natural sugar may be included if your bar contains dairy or fruit.

Homestyle chocolate chip cookie
4 teaspoons sugar
TIP: Cut back on high sugar sweets/desserts. The more you eat, the more you crave.

Ice cream
10-11 teaspoons sugar
TIP: Serve up some no added sugar ice cream or light frozen yogurt

¼ cup syrup
12 teaspoons sugar
TIP: Try light syrup which cuts the sugar in half and reduce your portion to a drizzle

Women should ingest no more than 40 grams of sugar per day with men consuming roughly 50 grams per day or 10% of your total calories. Choose wisely.  Select lower sugar products to easily save spoonfuls per day.  Look for natural sugars such as low fat milk and fresh fruit.  And enjoy your favorite sweet treats in moderation.  You’re SWEET enough already!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Smoothie

½ cup natural plain or vanilla yogurt
¼ cup skim milk
1 cup fresh sliced or frozen strawberries
½ scoop chocolate protein powder
1 teaspoon dark chocolate cocoa powder

Blend ingredients together for a chocolate-strawberry treat that is high in calcium, potassium protein, fiber and much more!  If smoothie is too thick, thin with additional milk.  If too thin, add more ice and blend!  Enjoy as a satisfying breakfast or frosty treat any time of the day!


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