How Much is Too Much Sugar?

Local News

Sugar is hidden in the majority of foods we eat, some good for you, and some, not so good.

Every day at this time KX News is putting Your Health First, so we sat down with a local dietician to talk sugar, and which of those cravings are worth filling.

Sanford Dietician Rachel Iverson says it’s all about the type of sugar. There’s sugar, and then there’s added sugar.

Natural sugar is a part of your fruits, grains, and dairies. Added sugar is what’s processed into those sweet treats like candy and baked goods.

But, Iverson says you don’t have to cut out all of the good stuff, all of the time if you’re really craving something, eat it.

She says if you don’t, people end up snacking and are still not satisfied because they didn’t allow themselves that craving. That being said, you can work to lessen those cravings.

Registered Sanford Dietitian Rachel Iverson shares, “Those cravings are mainly psychological. People get into the habit of having something sweet after dinner, or ordering a dessert or stopping for a donut on the way to work. And when they get into those habits, it’s more the habit that is the trigger, it’s not necessarily the need for something sweet, or our brain saying, ‘Hey I need something sweet’.”

Iverson says added sugars should be limited to under 25 grams a day. But be careful, she says one 16 ounce vanilla latte will fill that quota.

Sugar even hides in what you might think is health food. Iverson says yogurt can have over 30 grams of sugar. When it comes to naturally occurring sugar, Iverson says she’s not worried as much about limiting that, because there are a lot of nutritional benefits in things like milk and fruit.

Iverson says, “There are some foods that have surprise added sugar. People wouldn’t normally think that chips or ketchup would be really sweet, but sometimes those have added sugar. Or, often like dried fruit is sweetened with added sugar, even though you would think that’s a healthy choice. You need to really focus on reading food labels, and starting to just watch that.”

She says it can be a tough balance, but once you get in the habit of reading those labels and cutting that added sugar out slowly, your body will start to crave it less.

If you’re ordering that 16-ounce latte every day with 3 pumps of syrup, she says you can start by cutting out one pump, and then another, once you get used to the taste.

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