Have you ever wondered what the difference is between added sugar and natural sugar? Is natural sugar good for you? How much added sugar is it okay to consume every day? Keep reading to find out!
Natural sugar is exactly how it sounds, its natural! That means that it is naturally found in the food item, fruit for an example has natural sugar. Natural sugar that is found in fruit and vegetables also comes with a load of added health benefits from the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Added sugar on the other hand is sugar that is not naturally found in the food or food product and has been added as a flavor enhancer. Added sugar tends to add a lot of excess calories without providing any nutritional benefits. When reading the ingredient list added sugar can be termed several different ways, the most common are cane sugar, cane juice, cane syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or raw sugar. Don’t forget that items such as honey and maple syrup are often added to foods as a sweetener.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was recently released and came out with a new recommendation to limit added sugar intake to less than 10% of total calories. For a 2,000 calorie diet that is 200 calories or about 12 teaspoons of sugar. You might be thinking that 12 teaspoons sounds like enough, but do you know how much added sugar is in your favorite sweet treat? For example, one snickers candy bar has almost 7 teaspoons of sugar! You also might think you don’t eat a lot of sweet treats like cake, cookies, brownies, or candy so you probably aren’t consuming that much added sugar however added sugar is found in foods that might surprise you such as: cereal, granola bars, yogurt, salad dressings, and other condiments.
Next time you are craving a sweet treat try having a food that has natural sugar such as fruit to cure that sweet craving!