Sunday, January 31, 2016
Awww...Sugar, Sugar: FDA New Guidelines urge restrictions on daily sugar intake
The FDA is now recommending a cap on Americans' daily intake of sugar. The guideline states that sugar should not make up more than 10% of a person's daily caloric intake. I am sure we all know that we should cut back on sugar, especially after all the holiday treats in November and December. However, when you really try to stick this rule, it is almost impossible. As the linked article from the New York Times points out, there are a lot of "hidden sugars" lurking where you would not expect it, like tomato sauce and yogurt.
One of my favorite "foods" (which are really man made creations I suppose) is breakfast cereal. I have been making an effort in the last few weeks to pay more attention to the grams of sugar per serving listed on my cereal boxes' Nutrition Labels. I think people assume most of the cereals with the dehydrated marshmallows and leprechauns, any sort of variation on the word "cookie" (Cookie Crisp, Oreo O's), or based on a candy (Reese's Puff's) are probably the most sugar laden cereals out there but that is not always the case. Out of all of the cereals that have passed through my cupboard (and there have been a lot!), Raisin Bran tops the charts at 18 grams of sugar per serving! To put that in perspective, Honey Smacks, noted by multiple websites as the "top" kid's cereal sugar offender, has 15 grams of sugar per serving. I can only assume Raisin Bran isn't in these lists because it is not marketed to children which is typically the focus of these studies? In the pictures above, Cheerios (or the store brand equivalent Toasted Oats) is the top picture with an amazing low (for cereal!) 1 gram of sugar per serving...the second picture with 12 grams of sugar is Wegman's Fall Harvest cereal: whole oat clusters, multi-grain flakes dried cranberries, apples and pumpkin seeds.
So now what? I am doing a few things to try to switch things up:
- I am paying closer attention to the sugar listed on the nutrition labels. It's difficult to find a low sugar cereal that also does not have BHT (another post for another time)
- I am trying to switch up my morning routine more. Cold cereal is super convenient to throw in a container to take to work, but some whole wheat toast with avocado is pretty tasty as well.