10 Easy Ways to Exceed The New Sugar Limits
While the government was busy switching focus from healthcare reform to Wall Street reform the AHA (American Heart Association) put the hammer down on another dangerous—ultimately deadly—target of American gluttony and indulgence; sugar.
Responding to a recent study that connected added sugars in food with elevated triglycerides and cholesterol, both precursors to heart disease, the AHA issued new daily limits for your sugar intake. Obviously, as they can’t control you, these are recommendations not some oppressive government intervention in your life. No need to start stashing sugar under your mattress or doing anything crazy.
Researchers at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the added sugar intake and blood fat levels in more than 6,100 adults. Nearly every form of sugar was included, from high-fructose corn syrup, table sugar, honey, molasses, brown rice syrup and agave syrup.
The conclusion, simply stated, “People with the higher intakes of added sugars were more likely to have lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides (blood fats).”
I salute the intention of the AHA and CDC and am left pondering, “What took so long?”
They seriously just made this connection? I’ve known that elevated sugar and the disrupted insulin spikes it causes effect triglycerides for a few decades now. It seems that if this were your career focus you’d have access to the same info I had.
Okay. End of rant.
The Limits Are…
The following guidelines are for upper limits of daily sugar intake: Women are advised not to exceed 100 calories from sugar per day. For men it’s 150 calories per day.
Now, you have to be careful here. The 100/150 are calories, not grams.
On a “Nutrition Facts” food label keep in mind that the sugar is listed in grams of sugar—not calories. So this remains a wee bit tricky.
A gram of sugar has 4 calories so to convert grams to calories simply multiply by 4. A food with 10 gms of sugar has 40 calories in sugar. It’s that easy.
Going the other way, converting down to grams produces upper limits of 25 grams for a women and 38 grams for a man, daily. In case you haven’t got the message yet, this isn’t a lot.
Exceeding The New Limits
Should you choose to explore life within these lines—why not?, I say—how do you go about eating within these limits?
As one of the best ways to understand a limit is to break through it, here are “10 Quick and Easy Ways to Blast Through This upper limit so fast you don’t even know it’s there.”
10 Ways to Exceed New Sugar Limits
1. Have a single can of Pepsi-cola.
150 total calories of pure sugar and 41 grams of sugar. That’s sweet for sure! [the facts]
2. Slam a Snickers Bar
One regular size bar is 280 calories with 30 grams of pure sugar. (King size is over 500 cals!) [the facts]
3. Have 1 Cup of Pasta Sauce (standard sauce like Newmans Own)
That’ll check in around 225 calories total, 23 grams of sugar. Now technically this doesn’t reach the limits, but I felt it was still shocking and a great opportunity to make a point that few consider—that sugar is leaked into so many foods you don’t think about. [the facts]
4. One single 8 oz. container of low fat yogurt
250 calories total, 47 grams of sugar. [the facts]
5. Have a Blueberry muffin
470 calories and 38 grams of sugar. [the facts]
6. Have a bran muffin at Starbucks
That’s 350 calories, and 34 grams of sugar. [the facts]
7. Enjoy a Cranberry organ scone from Starbucks.
490 calories and 34 grams sugar. [the facts]
8. Grab a Vanilla Frap at Starbucks
310 cals / 58 gms sugar [the facts]
9. Have a tall glass of Orange Juice (14 oz)
That’s about 220 calories and 51 grams sugar. [the facts]
10. Have 1 single Gatorade (small one)
310 calories and 42 grams sugar. [the facts]
11. (Super Bonus) Have a Jamba Juice Berry Surf Rider
Reg. Size = 430 calories and 93 grams sugar. [the facts]
I admit it, Jamba Juice is one of my favorite targets for it’s easy to find error in. Yet it’s wildly successful for it’s designed perfectly engineered to play right into the American way of thinking; if it’s got some juice in it, it’s good for me. Well, at 100 gms (almost 400 calories) per serving for the regular sizes it’s like having a little arsenic on your apple. Good for you? Not so much.
Sugar, Sugar, Sugar…
The white death is every where. I’m sure at least a few of those were a surprise for you, right?
Just to be clear, I’ve no issue with any well intended agency (be they the Gov. or not) offering some much needed guidelines on nutritional intake, especially sugar.
And while the 100/150 calorie limits would do us all a world of good, as you can see from the list above this is no small task for most people. To drop within these guidelines will take a whole-sale lifestyle redesign.
And of course, I celebrate the intention and hope that it brings a greater awareness to those who need it the most.
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