09-02-2009, 06:19 PM
Putting a Lid on the Sugar Jar
Putting a Lid on the Sugar JarExcess sugar intake is implicated in our growing obesity epidemic. But how much is too much? The American Heart Association has, for the first time, set specific recommendations: Most women should consume no more than 100 calories (25 grams, about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day; most men, no more than 150 calories (37.5 grams, about 9 teaspoons).
Just one 12-ounce can of cola has about 130 sugar calories (33 grams, 8 teaspoons), which exceeds the daily limit for most women. And many people drink a lot more than that. On average, Americans consume about 355 calories (90 grams, 22 teaspoons) of added sugar a day.
Nutrition labels do not distinguish between naturally occurring sugars (such as lactose in dairy foods and fructose in fresh fruit) and added sugars. But if you spot any of the following in the ingredient list, you know that some type of sugar has been added: sugar (including brown, raw, or invert sugar), syrup (such as corn syrup or malt syrup), cane juice, agave nectar, honey, or anything ending in “ose.” Read more
List of added sugar content in foods
More Good News About Chocolate
Regular chocolate eaters who have a first heart attack are less likely to die if they have another, a new study in the Journal of Internal Medicine reports. Those who ate chocolate at least twice a week were best off. Other sweets and candies were not protective.
The study did not distinguish between milk and dark chocolate, but previous research credits flavonoids in cocoa with its heart and other potential health benefits--and the darker the chocolate, the more of these compounds the chocolate generally has.
Still, chocolate is a treat, not a health food. Most commercial bars are highly processed and loaded with unhealthy saturated fat (from milk solids), sugar, and calories. Choose dark chocolate in place of other snacks and desserts, not in addition--and keep portions small. Read more
Popcorn is a good source of fiber. Even better perhaps, it’s unexpectedly rich in antioxidants, called polyphenols, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. Polyphenols are the same class of disease-fighting compounds found in many fruits and vegetables, and in tea, red wine, and cocoa.
Whole-grain breakfast cereals also had “surprisingly large” amounts of antioxidants, particularly those made with oats. Some snack foods scored high, too, though the more processed they were (like tortilla chips versus popcorn), the less antioxidants they tended to have. Read more
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