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Sugar Sugar Sugar

Posted Nov 11 2009 10:03pm
Hi, I'm Carrie and I'm a sugar fiend. It started when I was little. I would beg/sneak/steal candy from wherever I could get it. Even when I was in college, I often traded real food for handfuls of candy corn and Twizzlers. Thank goodness, I've improved my relationship with food and sugar over the years even though I still make room for treats, albeit the non-processed kinds like homemade baked goods and dark organic, fair-trade chocolate.

The American Heart Association recently released new daily recommendations regarding upper limits of sugars or syrups added to foods. The AHA now advises that American women should consume no more than 100 calories of added sugars per day and no more than 150 calories for men. The equivalent in teaspoons is no more than 6 for women and 9 for men. These guidelines will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (as well as other diseases).

That is not to say that sugar is "bad" or off limits. Added sugars to foods can make them more palatable (like to yogurts or grains) and provide us with occasional treats. Moderation is key.

Note: added sugars do not apply to items like fruits or milk products because those sugars are naturally-occurring. Also, if you want to know if you are within the daily limits, you need to count the calories that come from sugar, not the calories of the entire food item. So while a 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream might contain 100+ calories overall, the calories from sugar might be around 50.

The bottom line: try and reduce the amount of added sugars to your diet.

These photos are from a cruise I took with my husband to Mexico about a year and a half ago. This was a special dessert buffet...I was in heaven!
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