Click here if you're having trouble viewing this email
Sugar Detox Challenge
See ya, added sugar!
You've taken our quiz, and you're well aware that a surplus of added sugar is linked to an increased risk of a number of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, obesity, and even depression. But did you know that it's not necessary to eliminate sugar completely? The best place to start is added sugar.
There are two categories of sugar: "naturally occurring" sugar, the type found in whole, unprocessed foods (such as fruit), and 'added' sugar, the kind put into food, either by manufacturers (such as sweetened yogurt), or by you, like sprinkling a packet of sugar into your morning cup of coffee.
Researchers and health experts believe that added sugar is the bad guy, mainly for two reasons. First, added sugar is concentrated, meaning you get a whole lot of sugar in a small portion, which makes it easy to rack up too much too fast. Also, added sugars and foods that contain them are often devoid of nutrients. For example, one cup of whole, fresh strawberries provides 7 grams of naturally occurring sugar, a pretty modest amount. And that sugar is bundled with many beneficial nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In comparison, 13 gummy bears provide 14 grams of added sugar—and no nutrients.
There are two ways to scope out added sugar. New Nutrition Facts labels mandated by the Food and Drug Administration list added sugar in grams within the carbohydrate section. (Note: smaller food companies have until 2021 to adopt the new labels, but most brands have already switched to this revised version.) This is especially helpful for comparing similar products, like cereal, to see how much sweetener each contains.
The other strategy is to scan the ingredient list on all packaged foods. Sugar can appear as: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup or other syrups, cane juice or cane juice crystals, caramel, glucose, maltose, fructose, sucrose, dextrin and dextrose, molasses, or barley malt. Check to see where it appears on the ingredient list. By law, ingredients must be included in descending order by weight, so the higher up on the list you see sugar, the more sugar per bite. Tip: Be sure to scan the entire list. Some manufacturers use more than one type of sugar in the same product! (More on that tomorrow.)