Of all the dietary causes of obesity, consumption of added sugar leads the charge. A wealth of information now exists on the ever-increasing amounts of sugar steadily added to the diet, largely in the form of packaged and processed foods. Here are the top 5 offenders:
Sugar-sweetened beverages were confirmed as the top source for added sugars among children and adolescents. According to some estimates, overweight and obese adolescents are drinking enough of these beverages to account for an average of 15% of their total daily energy intake. An average 12-ounce can of cola contains over 8 teaspoons of sugar! So, by drinking just one small soft drink, a woman would have already far exceeded her recommended daily sugar maximum, and a man would have nearly reached his. With numbers like this, it is easy to see how the average person can consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day, far beyond the recommended maximum. Extrapolating from that, it is even easier to see how this level of high-calorie sugared intake could contribute to the rise of the obesity epidemic over the course of time.
These are the pies, biccies, and cakes that so many love to eat for dessert. Basically, anything that is made with any kind of flour counts as a grain dessert. And, according to the latest findings, we as a people are eating far too many of them.
Fruit drinks are seldom 100% fruit juice, but usually a combination of added sugars and syrups with some blend of fruit juices thrown in. These added sugars include ingredients like sucrose (table sugar), cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, juice concentrate, and other additives that are essentially sugar as far as the human digestive system is concerned. Additionally, 100% fruit juice has the essential fibre of the whole fruit removed, and thus is much higher in unopposed sugar content than one would get with eating the original fruit. Fruit drinks have been found to account for 8% of overall added sugar intake.
No surprise… According to recent estimates, consumption accounts for 6.7% of overall added sugar intake.
This is the category that includes ice cream and frozen yogurts, and accounts for 5.6% of overall added sugar consumption. Beware of low-fat versions of dairy desserts; to compensate for the loss of fat, many manufacturers add more sugar to these than would be found in the higher- or full-fat versions.
Keep on track!