Ingredient Spotlight: Sugar

As your kids come home with a bag of candies tonight, here are a few thoughts on how to keep tabs on all of that sugar. (We’ll talk about the rest of the ingredients in future Ingredient Spotlight posts!)

Candy

Sugar contains no nutrients, and is not necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

While there is no ‘nutritional value’ standard, it is recommended that the average, healthy person consume a maximum of forty grams (40 g) of added sugar per day. (The American Heart Association suggests even less.)

Four grams (4 g) is the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar.

So, forty grams (40 g) is the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar. Think that’s a lot?

Check the labels to see how many grams of sugar are in each cute, little gummy candy pack or mini chocolate bar….

Then, consider how much sugar your kids have already consumed in their morning yogurt cup, recess granola bar, lunch-time juice box, or after-school “fruit” snack,

What about your yogurt parfait at breakfast, the latte after you dropped off the kids, your post-workout protein bar, or that afternoon smoothie…

Those sugar-grams add up quickly!

The important thing is to know what to look for when reading those labels. Talk to your kids, and get them to read labels too. Let them know the forty gram limit, and help each other stick to it. I’m not saying, “don’t reach for that cute little aero bar”; just know when you (and your kids) have had enough!

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