As we prepare for the holidays, we start thinking about all the delicious foods! But we’ve been so diligent all year long about our diet and oral health care, and we don’t want to ruin our progress. From holiday parties to office potlucks, what do we do about all the many amazing foods and desserts surrounding us? Occasional indulgences are necessary! We only live once, right? Right! Let’s make it simple. Choose wisely throughout the holidays and we will feel no remorse. Eat smart by filling up on healthy fruits and veggies, and then you won’t need such large portions to satisfy your sweet tooth. And when you choose your sweets, consider selecting those that don’t completely send your blood sugar, and diet, over the edge.
But wait, how much sugar is too much? “Recommendations vary based on organization. For example, the American Heart Association recommends 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 for men (1 teaspoon of sugar has about 4g of sugar).” This is 24g daily for women and 36g daily for men.
We find, more often than not, the primary source of added sugars are found in soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages. However, we discovered a list of additional foods surprisingly high in sugar content. Check ’em out!
• Healthy Sounding Cookies – Oatmeal, peanut butter and raisin cookies all sound healthy, so they must be in cookie form! Not true, we found most of these cookies were 13-15g of sugar per serving. You may consider baking your own cookies to get your fix. Substitute sugar with agave nectar, honey and/or cinnamon!
• Spaghetti Sauce (from the jar) – On average a 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce from the jar contains 12g of sugar. Almost half our daily consumption! (And we know we don’t eat just a 1/2 cup). Making your own spaghetti sauce never sounded so good, huh?
• Barbecue Sauce – In only 2 tablespoons, you may find 15g of sugar in some barbecue sauces. You may as well eat sugar straight! We recommend another dipper, like mustard with 0g of sugar.
• Bottled Teas – Just when you thought you were drinking healthy. You can find 50g of sugar in one 16 ounce bottle of green tea, over twice your daily consumption. It’s best to brew your own.
• Yogurt – Not only full of calcium, but also sugar! One 6oz container of yogurt can have up to 31g of sugar. Consider plain yogurt and adding your own fruit, like strawberries. They are lower in sugar than most fruits (one cup has about 7gs, compared to an apple with 19gs).
Did you find any of these shocking? You’re going to think twice about how you spend your daily sugar consumption now, aren’t you? We want you to enjoy the holidays, but go into them with eyes, and mouths, wide open. It’s our goal to keep you informed. Let us know how we are doing, and if you have any suggestions for future blog posts.