I, Nekeidra Frederick, love sugar. I love it in all it’s glorious forms; candy, cake, cookies, soda, juices, candy, cookies…I think I already said that.
Actually, many of us Americans love sugar. In fact, they say we consume and average of 92-164 grams of added sugar each day. Apparently, that’s too much.
Ingesting too much sugar on a daily basis can lead to obesity, heart disease and/or type 2 diabetes. In an effort to cut down on the rise in all three of these conditions, the U.S. dietary guidelines are going to be revised later this year.
A U.S. government-appointed panel will recommend that Americans should only consume about 50 grams of added sugar a day in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
So lets do some math. At a minimum, we consume an average of 92 grams. New guidelines would have us at 50. Eliminating a minimum of 42 grams per day sounds like an impossible hurdle.
I have to give up my afternoon pick-me up? What about my late night treat?
It turns out the culprit for many of us is soda and fruit juices. One 16oz bottle of regular soda has 44 grams of sugar. Wow!
Simply dropping one soda a day sounds great but the difficulty comes in with this statement that I hear time and time again.
“I know soda is bad so I don’t drink it. Therefore my sugar levels are fine, correct?”
It turns out that sugar is everywhere. It hides in plain sight. Our fruit juices, salad dressings, crackers, toddler snacks, sauces, ketchup, soups, mayonnaise, etc… all contain added sugars. You could have a glass of orange juice, toast with jelly and a side of maple bacon for breakfast. At lunch you might order a salad that they’ve tossed in yummy dressing for you and have a few crackers on the side. You’ll then have baked BBQ chicken and tortellini for dinner paired with a nice chicken soup. That doesn’t seem like an abundance of sugar but you’d be surprised at how fast the additional grams in each of these items would add up and surpass your daily allotment.
Now it doesn’t seem so simple.
The same government-appointed panel is pushing for new labels on products that would separate out added sugars from naturally occurring sugars. This would help people quickly ascertain where their added sugar intake is coming from.
The good news for our eat+LIVE families is that we’ve already taken that guess work out for them. Not only do they have their meals delivered to their door, they are fully prepared and ready to eat. All of our eat+LIVE meals are Cleveland Clinic Go! Healthy Food approved meaning that there is no more than 6 grams of added sugar in any of our lunch meals and 8 grams for dinner. That’s it. If you ate an eat and live meal for lunch and one for dinner, you would only use 14 of 50 grams for the entire day’s sugar allotment.
I’m no mathematician but that ratio seems to leave a lot of extra ‘sugar’ room for breakfast and a snack. Obviously you can’t go wild but I like the idea of having 36 grams extra versus having to find 42 grams to cut out during the day.