Tonight I made a pasta dish with store-bought tomato sauce. (I know…shoot me.) I always buy Newman’s Own Sockarooni. It is chunky, full of vegetable and pretty good on its own. No need to doctor it up. However, it does have some added sugar to it like most other pasta’s.
For better health it is important to try to get less added sugar in your diet. This is actually one of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
Quick info on sugar from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s says there are two kinds of sugar—naturally-occurring and added. On food labels, both kinds of sugar are included in “sugars” listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. The amount of sugar in your diet varies depending on the amount of calories your body needs. To help give you a better picture though one teaspoon of granulated sugar equals 4 grams of sugar. So 12 oz cola provides ~10 teaspoons of sugar. YUCK!!!!
Naturally occurring sugars are found in many foods. For example, dairy products, such as yogurt and milk, and fruit—both healthy choices—contain naturally-occurring sugars. Lactose is the sugar in milk and yogurt; fructose is the sugar in fruit. This is more of what we need. 🙂
To determine if a food product has added sugar, check the ingredient list for these words: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup and table sugar.
Note: Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first.
Here is a short list of common known food and beverages Americans make a part of their regular diets. (Hence overweight/obesity crisis.) Added sugars provide calories, but no nutritional value (empty calories.)
- regular soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
- pies and cobblers
- sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
- fruit drinks, fruit punch, flavored teas
- dairy desserts, such as ice cream
Unexpected sources that have added sugar:
- Pasta Sauce
- Protein Powders
- Flavored Coffees
- Canned fruits
- Dried fruits
To help fight obesity and promote better health and nutrition intakes. It is important that we limit the amount of simple sugars, empty calories and added sugars in our diet. It’s best to stick with whole grains, fresh fruits, low-fat dairy.