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"May"keover Week 5

It's our final week of May-keover Month! We hope you've made a few good changes in the past weeks. Nutrition is a journey that never ends so we continually need to reset and refocus. Remember if we eat well most of the time and keep the "not-so-good" meals to a minimum, we'll make progress toward our desired body composition and remain in better health.

Week 5: Limit added sugar intake

We know we talk about sugar a lot, but it's causing a worldwide epidemic of obesity and chronic disease. So we are probably going to keep talking about it.

SUGARS naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables should be part of our diet, but SUGARS removed from their original source and ADDED to foods, we need to be wary of. ... Fructose is found in fruit (and a small amount in vegetables) but there is a big difference when we eat it in fruit as opposed to it being added as foods are processed.

Recommendation daily intake of added sugar

Males: 38 grams

Females: 25 grams

(13 ounce Starbucks Dark Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino Sugar: 48g )

The FDA is requiring new "added sugar" labels on foods. The total grams of sugar listed in the nutrition facts doesn't differentiate whether the sugars are coming from added or natural sources. The only thing a savvy consumer can do is read the ingredient list. Since ingredients are listed in descending order, folks can determine where the majority of the sugar in that food is coming from.

But even if sugar isn't "added" to foods, we still have to be careful. Let's compare these three to illustrate:

The FDA’s new sugar labeling would tell you that a 16 oz. orange soda has 58 grams of sugar, all of which are classified as added sugar. A 16 oz. glass of orange juice has 48 grams of sugar, but none of this is considered added sugar since it comes from fruit so it's termed as "natural" sugar. Unfortunately, the FDA’s added sugar label misses a key point – it doesn’t cover sugars from natural sources that have been heavily processed during production. The manufacturers have significantly altered the fruit’s properties. In doing so, they have changed the way our bodies process the sugar contained in the fruit, which has key implications for our health.

Since one medium-sized orange has about 10-13 grams of sugar, the 16 oz. orange juice contains four oranges’ worth of sugar. If you were eating the actual fruit, you probably wouldn’t consume anywhere close to this amount of sugar. Whole fruit also contains fiber, which fills you up and keeps you from overeating. The cellular structure of fruit is also important – since your body has to break down the cells of the orange before the sugar can be released, the sugar is absorbed into the blood more slowly. Eating fruit raises your blood sugar levels, but in a slow and controlled manner, promoting fullness and preventing overconsumption.

So this week, keep added sugar below 25 grams (women) and 38 grams (men) each day (and consider fruit juice as added sugar).

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