Friday, April 24, 2015

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Fed Up (available on DVD from Amazon)
(Affiliate link)
When the movie Fed Up came out, I knew it was one I wanted to watch. I recently got it from our library, and Kevin and I watched it last night.

Let me tell you, it was really eye-opening for me. I try to be very conscious about what we eat. I read labels almost religiously (or I thought I did). I make almost everything from scratch.

The movie focuses on 1) the government's control of the food industry (specifically school lunches but also the USDA) and 2) the food industry's control over the government. It's a vicious cycle! Also of note is the fact that people really have no clue what constitutes a "healthy" meal or food choice.

This morning, I looked at the yogurt in my refrigerator. The organic yogurt. The "healthy" yogurt. The yogurt with 29g of sugar per (1 cup) serving.

While I have studiously avoided foods high in sugar, I haven't educated myself on what constitutes "high in sugar". Obviously, ice cream, cookies, sweet snack foods, sugary breakfast cereals...those are going to be on the "high in sugar" list.

So first, I looked up the WHO's recommendation for the limit of added sugar per day. They recommend (for an adult) only 5% of one's daily calories, or 25g.


There's more sugar in one cup of yogurt than the recommended daily limit. (WHO recently cut their recommendation in half from 10% to 5% and incidentally in Fed Up it was stated that the in order to protect the sugar industry, the US government strong-armed the WHO to not publish the report stating the 10% figure.)

So then, to compare one dairy product to another, I looked online at Breyer's vanilla ice cream. The sugar for one serving (1/2 cup) is 14g. So cup for cup, the sugar content is almost identical between the two. I expected the ice cream to be much higher in sugar than the yogurt!

Do you see the percentage of daily recommended amount missing by the sugar? You won't find that information on labels! (Also missing, is the information on added sugar vs. naturally-occurring sugar which makes it extremely hard to even calculate how many grams of added sugar you are eating per day; I did write this company and they said about only half of the sugar was added )

This was just yogurt. I'm on the hunt to remove added sugar from our diet! Hint: it's in almost anything you pull from the grocery shelves!


Susan said...

As a diabetic, yes, I do notice the sugar content of almost all foods. I notice total carb grams and finer grams first, then I look at the sugar grams. Higher finer foods are generally healthier and cause less drastic rises in blood sugar, but if the sugar grams are higher than about 5, you are still getting a lot of sugar.

I get aggravated with the yogurt. Yogurt is supposed to be healthy, but for a diabetic, it's full of sugar - unless you eat plain yogurt, which I don't. So I eat yogurt with artificial sweetener, usually Splenda, which is not culturally acceptable anymore! LOL

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about your post since you posted it. I know I consume way too much sugar. It's hard to give up. I might (heavy on the might) try again. I'm addicted. I admit it. It's hard to give up an addiction. :(

Tammy said...

Susan, I am not very educated on reading the nutritional panel listed on foods! LOL @ Splenda not being culturally acceptable! I have always steered clear of those types of sweeteners, but then I can tolerate natural sugars so I can sub in maple syrup or honey if I have the desire for something sweet and don't want to eat refined sugar.

Rebecca, sugar IS addictive. In fact, in the movie they show brain scans that show that sugar and cocaine light up the same area of the brain. Scary stuff!

Melissa Joy said...

Yes, it is crazy how added sugar is in just about everything! That made my diet last year REALLY difficult when I was on zero sugar (except what was inherent in whole fruit) except for that tsp of maple syrup a day in my morning coffee. :) It has been SUCH a relief to be back on some sugar now, just because it was SO ridiculously tricky to avoid it so completely. I (like you!) am trying to maintain a low sugar diet for my family, and especially for myself, but definitely know I too have room to grow.
I never noticed the daily sugar % missing before, but seriously, that in itself is eye opening, right!?

Tammy said...

Melissa, it is disheartening how much sugar is in everything. I do love to cook from scratch, but there are times I'd like to buy certain staples without having to worry about sugar content.

The daily sugar percentage missing was very eye opening to me too!