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Scary Seven Ingredient #1

Naturally Savvy shared this picture (below) on their facebook wall a little while back and I wanted to share it with all of you.  High-fructose corn syrup is the most common added sweetener in processed foods and beverages because it's so cheap.  The make-up of high-fructose corn syrup and and regular sugar are very similar, but studies suggest that they are absorbed by the body differently. 

The American Heart Association recommends that most women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar and men no more than 9. Usually nutrition labels list the amount of sugar in grams, so that's 30 grams for women and 45 for men. 
Let's say we start off our day with a bowl of Kellogg's Smart Start Strong Heart cereal (17grams), then have Dole diced peaches (18grams) with Yoplait Original 99% fat free, Lemon for lunch (31grams), and have pasta for dinner with 1/2 cup of Newman's Own Tomato & Basil sauce (12grams).....that's already 78 grams of sugar!!  That's not even including any sweets, sodas, or junk food! It's so important to look at the ingredients list for added sugars, and then the nutrition label to see how many grams of sugar/serving.  And I know when I used to eat those sugary cereals, I barely ever only ate 1 serving.

It's easy to find a ton of research online about this scary ingredient, but I just want to point out a few points:
  •  if you find hfcs in the ingredients section of your food, that means you are about to eat something that is highly processed (contains preservatives and fake food substitutes) and should avoid it regardless of the hfcs.
  • a few tips to avoid added sugar--drink water, eat fruits/vegetables that are not already packaged, eat 'whole/real' foods, check the ingredients label.
  • try to commit to eating desserts that you make from scratch at home rather than buying premade mixes whenever you can so you can be in charge of how much sugar goes in them--added bonus, you won't be including preservatives in yours!
Heart Disease is the #1 killer of Americans.  Diets high in sugar are linked to heart disease. What's scary to me is that you may think you are eating somewhat healthy, but still consume over 100 pounds of sugar a year as the average American does according to the USDA.

Two sugar related articles in the news:

  • Just today in NYC, "the New York Board of Health passed a rule banning sugary drinks like soda in sizes 16 oz. or larger at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries in an effort to combat obesity today. The ban is expected to take effect in March"  and people are not happy! Read the article here.
  • A couple of years ago, the Corn Refiners Association petitioned to the FDA to allow them to switch their name from HFCS to 'corn sugar'--but they were denied! Read the article here.

For further reading on sugar and the effect it has on the brain, check out these links:

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