Have you ever checked out the nutrition label?
You'll notice that sugar doesn't have a % Daily Value listed.
It's hard to come across exactly why this isn't listed. I'm guessing politics has a big play. (Yes politics are in your food!)
Either way, its not there. Which can make it difficult when assessing the labels.
So how much sugar should we be consuming?
Children < 12 grams
Women < 24 grams
Men < 36 Grams
The WHO recommends that we reduce our energy (or calorie) intake from free sugars to less than 10%. They define free sugars as:
"Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates."
Let's put this into perspective here:
12 oz can of Coke = 39g
Grande Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte = 49g
Yoplait Original Yogurt = 27g
Kind Bar = 14g
365 Apple Cereal Bars = 17g
And this beautiful Evolution Fresh Strawberry Lemonade has 29 grams of sugar, but check out the serving size. There are 2 servings per container. So this little 16 oz bottle has 58 grams of sugar.
Unfortunately, the labels clump all sugars together. Natural, processed, glucose, fructose, lactose, etc. There's no telling them apart.
That's when it becomes important to check out the ingredients list. Is sugar listed? And where? The main ingredients are listed first.
The thing is, our body doesn't differentiate much between natural and processed sugars.
Its the fiber that affects how our bodies respond. The fiber slows down the absorption. Limits the insulin release, and eases the effects on the body.
This is why eating a whole apple is so different from drinking apple juice. The juicing removes the fiber.
As you can see prior to giving up sugar, I was consuming well over 3 times the recommended amount on a given day.
I challenge you. Start reading your labels. And pay attention to your sugar consumption. Keep a tally one day and count it up. It'll surprise you!