Friday, May 29, 2015


Do you add 10 spoonfuls of sugar into your glass of tea or coffee?  Would you choose to eat 1/3 cup of sugar for dessert?  In America, the average person does just that by choosing foods and drinks which have a lot of added sugar in them.


How much sugar do we eat?
The average US adult takes in 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily.  The average US child eats 32 tsp daily.  Almost all of this is sugar which has already been added to foods and drinks.

The following list shows how many teaspoons of added sugar are in each food:

  • 12 ounce can of pop (150 calories):          10 tsp                   
  • Large (venti) cafĂ© mocha (450 calories):  11 tsp
  • 1/12 of a cake, frosted (400 calories):      16 tsp (1/3 cup)
  • 1/8 pie, most kinds (350 calories):            9-13 tsp              
  • Large cinnamon roll (500 calories):          11 tsp   
  • Medium DQ Blizzard® (770 calories):     21 tsp (>1/3 cup)

Does sugar contain any nutrition?
Sugar in its various forms contains no nutrients, only calories.  Even though the body needs sugar for energy, people do not need any added sugar at all for health.  Healthy foods like whole grains, fruit and milk change into the sugar our bodies need.  Extra added sugar is hard on our health, causing us and our children to gain weight and to develop health problems like diabetes, heart disease and even liver disease. If your diet regularly includes foods like those listed above, you may see health problems in your future.

Is any amount of sugar healthy?
The World Health Organization, the American Heart Association and the advisory committee for the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans all recommend limiting added sugars to 100-200 calories daily, or 6-12 tsp daily. 

How can I start making changes?
Most of us love sweets, and food manufacturers spend billions marketing tasty but unhealthy food to consumers every year.  You can get started reducing sugar in your diet by:

  1. Make a list of 3 sweet treats which are your favorites.  Choose small portions of these.
  2. All other sweets, choose to refuse.
  3. Look through pantries and cupboards and remove all sweets.
  4. Try healthier choices for snacks, like fresh fruit!
  5. Compare labels of cereals and choose those with less sugar listed.

Friday, May 15, 2015


The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will no longer list eggs as a food that should be restricted. This is a pretty big deal, because for the past 40 years recommendations have been made to restrict egg yolks and other foods high in cholesterol like shrimp, due to the thinking that high cholesterol foods raise blood cholesterol levels, thus increasing the risk for development of heart disease.  

A growing body of data from large population studies do not support this conclusion, so the dietary guidelines advisory committee in its report has taken off foods high in cholesterol; “having found no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol during its review of the relevant research.  The Committee has determined that cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

Saturated Fat still bad for you
Foods high in saturated fat should still be avoided, however.  Sausage, cheese and other foods which contain high amounts of animal fats are still associated with higher blood cholesterol levels and with increased risk of heart disease. Recommendations are to limit saturated fat intake below 10% of daily calories which is about 16-20 gm for most people.

How much saturated fat is in foods?
Most people do not know that cheese contains a whopping 18 gm of saturated fat in a 3 ounce portion (1 to 2 slices of pizza), sausage comes in next with 9 gm in 3 ounces, butter contains 7 gm in 1 Tbsp and lean ground beef contains 6 gm in a 3 ounce portion.  A normal portion of 2 eggs contain only 3 gm of saturated fat.  Chicken breast contains 1 gm per a 3 ounce portion.  

So how often do we get to feel less guilty about eating good food? Now’s the time. Enjoy your eggs!