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How Much Sugar Is In Your Favorite Foods?

Dorathy Gass

The World Health Organization (WHO) advised recently that in order to avoid tooth decay, obesity and to sustain overall health, adults must not consume more than 50 grams of sugar daily. Off the cusp of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed that the amount of sugar added (as a percentage) be placed on the nutritional labels of packaged foods to help better inform consumers on daily sugar intake.

You may or may not know that 50 grams of sugar, equals out to 12 teaspoons; but what does that amount look like when it comes to some of your favorite foods and beverages? Here’s an overview:

Soda: Soda pop may not be the best beverage to reach for, with a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola having 39 grams of sugar in it; in fact the new 16-ounce cans have 52 grams. Simply drinking one soda pop per day digs into (or entirely wipes out) your recommended daily sugar intake. Some may think reaching for a diet pop is the solution, but research shows those drinks may not be a health option in the long run.

Sugary Cereals: They sometimes boast about being ‘part of a nutritious breakfast’ in their commercials, but consumers beware, especially for those sugary cereals targeted to youngsters. One serving of Frosted Flakes has just over 10 grams of sugar in it.

Yogurt: Yogurt seems safe right? It depends on the type of yogurt you reach for. Those easily packable Yoplait yogurts that fit well in our kids lunch bags contain about 26 grams of sugar. While they do also contain some protein (4.9 grams), it doesn’t help all that much considering adults require at least 80 grams daily. Still, not all yogurt is high in sugar, and it is best to reach for the Chobani plain Greek yogurt, with just 4 grams of fat, and a little over 14 grams of protein.

Jam/Jelly: Nothing better than a PB&J sandwich, on a summer’s day – it’s the staple of childhood, right? It may be, but that jelly is also loaded in sugar. In fact, a single tablespoon of the grape jelly produced by Smuckers Concord has an unbelievable 12 grams of sugar in it.

Starbucks: Starbuck lovers, the hard truth is those yummy (and highly addictive) fancy coffee drinks are eating into your daily sugar intake. A grande Caramel Frappuccino (with whipped cream of course!) contains 52 grams of sugar … which scraps anymore sugar options for the rest of the day. There may be hope: their light Frappuccino contains 29 grams of sugar – providing a somewhat better option.

Gatorade: It’s always been viewed as a healthy drink to enjoy after a workout; however at 54.4 grams of sugar for their large 32-ounce bottle and 34 grams of sugar for their regular 20-ounce bottle – you may need to spend a few more minutes at the treadmill after you have enjoyed this post-workout drink.

Donuts: Donuts contain high amounts of sugar, that’s no secret – but how much? A glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts has 12 grams of sugar; which might be the perfect option if you are looking to indulge. Keep in mind, the more extravagant you go, the higher the sugar intake. An iced custard donut from Krispy Kreme contains about 19 grams.

Ice Cream: As the summer rounds to an end, this may be a good thing for ice cream lovers. It seems a half-pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream flavor scraps your daily sugar intake, as it contains 52 grams of sugar.


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