The Thirty Day No Junk Food Challenge | Day Three: Crouching Candy, Hidden Sugars

Crouching Candy, Hidden Sugar
Crouching Candy, Hidden Sugar

Day three was helped somewhat by not getting up until mid-day. It's almost impossible to eat junk food if you're asleep. So there's a top tip right off the bat. I was going on about cutting sugar out yesterday, or at least decreasing it substantially so today I decided to have a look at some of the allegedly 'healthy' or at least 'non junk' foods I was eating and seeing how much sugar was in them.

In one 100 gram pottle of yoghurt, it turned out that there was 11.2 grams of sugar. That seemed like quite a lot, considering one teaspoon of sugar is 4.2 grams. That meant that there were 2.6 teaspoons of sugar in every allegedly healthy yoghurt I ate.

Then I looked at the rice and salmon I had for lunch. Both of these come processed, which should have been warning enough. The salmon turned out to have 4.1 grams of sugar added (and given the volume of the container, that was a huge amount.) The rice had 6 grams. Even the 'healthy' cream cheese had a gram of sugar in every serving.

And how did dark chocolate come out in the sugar race? Well one serving of Toblerone dark chocolate contained 11.5 grams of sugar, whereas one serving of Whittaker's Rum and Raisin contained 14.4. That's a significant amount – and should probably be taken into consideration when indulging in dark chocolate.

At any rate, after lunch time today I had consumed :

  • 6 grams of sugar in my Thai rice.
  • 4.1 grams of sugar in tinned salmon.
  • 2.3 grams in serving of gluten free bread.
  • 1 gram of sugar in the cream cheese spread.

For a total of 13.4 grams of sugar, or 3.2 teaspoons.

So how 'bad' is that? Well the American Heart Association says men should have no more than 36 grams of sugar in a day - around nine teaspoons and women no more than 26 grams - around six teaspoons. (They also say that added sugars, sugars added to foods to make them taste better, should be no more than half of your 'daily discretionary calorie allowance, whatever that's supposed to mean.) So I'm well within the AHA guidelines for sugar intake, sitting at about half of their daily limit. Of course, a daily limit isn't the same as a reccomended intake and I haven't finished the day yet. If I have a single serving of chocolate at this point, I'm going to break the sugar limit.

But what if it gets hot? What if I want some juice to slake my thirst? It turns out that if I had a glass of relatively good quality orange juice, I'd be consuming a whopping 20 grams of sugar. So basically, a woman who drinks but one glass of supermarket brand orange juice is very close to hitting her daily limit as recommended by the AHA.

Sugar is everywhere, and it apparently takes more than mere candy avoidance to make sure you don't ingest too much of the stuff.

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