The World Health Organization recommends six teaspoons or twenty five grams of sugar daily for women, and nine teaspoons or up to thirty-six grams for men.
My plan today is to walk around my kitchen reading ingredient labels. (Good thing I’m retired!)
With my cheat sheet of sugar aliases (below) and my black sharpie marker, I am ready to get to work and see how bad it really is.
My list of sugar aliases comes from MyPlate.gov, these are some of the names for added sugars on the food labels that I will inspect:
- brown sugar
- corn syrup
- corn syrup solids
- high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- confectioner’s powdered sugar
- malt syrup
- maple syrup
- nectars (e.g., peach nectar, pear nectar)
- pancake syrup
- raw sugar
- white granulated sugar
- invert sugar
- anhydrous dextrose
Some other names used for added sugars, but not recognized by the FDA as an ingredient name include:
- cane juice
- evaporated corn sweetener
- fruit juice concentrate
- crystal dextrose
- liquid fructose
- sugar cane juice
- fruit nectar
If I am allowed 6 teaspoons of sugar, I want it to be MY CHOICE! I don’t want to waste my sugar consumption on foods with hidden sugar, or foods with weird sugar substitutes. I want my sugar pure, out in the open and out of the closet, just like me! There is a part of me that is disillusioned with the food supply in our country. The fact that I have to monitor labels closely, while keeping up with an ever changing vocabulary revolving around sugar, seems like a lot of detective work just to eat.
Just yesterday, in a Huffpost Healthy Living Blog post, Robert H. Lustig, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, and President of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition (responsiblefoods.org), wrote:
The food industry has contaminated the American food supply with added sugar to “sell more product” and thereby uphold their Wall Street mandate to increase profits. Of the 600,000 food items in the American grocery store, 80 percent have been spiked with added sugar; and the industry uses 56 other names for sugar on the label. They know when they add sugar, you buy more. And because you do not know you’re buying it, you buy even more.
It’s no wonder obesity, and metabolic disease have hijacked our health, and our health care dollars! Maybe we as consumers need to hold those in the food industry accountable – clean up our food or contribute a portion of the profits to shore up medicare – especially since the food industry seems to be in the business of impairing the future health of its customers!