Gazing into my cupboard today I was overwhelmed. I am specifically looking to rid my pantry and refrigerator of excess sugar. The natural sugar, like the raisins in my cereal can stay. The bag of “yogurt” covered pretzels, I’m not so sure about. This is where I need think about the difference between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. Fruit, dried fruit, milk and grains have natural sugars that are not a danger to your health. Fructose, sucrose, dextrose and corn syrup are just some of the added sugars found on ingredient lists. These should be limited in our diet to prevent health problems like diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. How do we know how much is too much? So, for me and the other ladies 6 Teaspoons sugar is the daily max. Gents, you get 9 Teaspoons and the kids get 4 Teaspoons. Each teaspoon equals approximately 4 grams of sugar. How do we use this information to make healthier food choices? Let’s take those yogurt pretzels and make an example out of them, here’s the math:
If I was to eat a serving, and we all know that NO ONE eats just one serving, I would be more than halfway through my daily allotment. This indicates to me that this product is too high in added sugars, to be considered a healthy snack. Into the garbage pail it goes.
Is this wasteful? No, if it stays around I will be tempted to eat some, probably more than a handful even. They have nothing of value to offer me except a blood sugar spike and a queasy stomach.
Here is a challenge for you: Practice at a sugar purge. Go in your cupboard and find a food with about the same amount of added sugar as my yogurt covered pretzels and toss it mercilessly. Practice regularly until you feel you are ready to do a complete kitchen sugar purge. If you feel inspired to do the whole thing now, you have my blessing. Whatever you choose to do let me know about it. I want all the details. What food was it? How many grams of sugar? Was it a full purge or a trial run?
Photography by: Samantha Combs