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Sugar Content Calculated in Beverages and Foods
Sugars and Sweeteners - The Good, Bad and Ugly
Sugars are Hidden in our Foods and Beverages
In one of my prior articles I explained what my husband and I went through with our second son. This fellow started to get sick about the third grade. He complained of stomach cramps to the level that he bent over at the waist with tears in his eyes. He complained of headaches, could not focus in school and our youngest son looked sick. All blood work came back negative including any x-rays that the doctor ordered. Our son stumped his doctor and us to the point that we all wondered sometimes if he was not outsmarting his parents because he did not want to go to school. If he had not looked so ill, we probably would have considered this all a drama act.
We finally searched for a medical doctor who was in tune with alternative medicine and found a wonder doctor in the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The first thing this doctor did, was something I had never heard of before; he did a hair analysis from a small clipping of our son's hair at the back of his neck. When the results came, back we found out that he consumed 15,000 mg of sodium per day in addition to at least 14 teaspoons of sugar per day. Since I never used sugar because we suspected our son to be diabetic, we were shocked that the doctor found this much sugar in his system. The further blood work proved that our son was hypoglycemic or had low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is a precursor to diabetes.
Our son has been an adult for quite some time now and is into health and fitness big time. He says to me that if he does not have any sort of fresh greens at supper it just does not seem right. He is against sweet stuff, although occasionally will indulge in a dessert, but would rather munch on lettuce or broccoli for instance. It has been a long time since he has had any hypoglycemic symptoms as he is well versed in what to eat that is healthy and full of all the right nutrients.
Sugar Calculations are Easy to Figure
Sugar Calculations Made Easy
The point that I guess I am trying to make in all of this is that there is a great deal of sugar hidden in our foods and beverages these days and consumers must be watchful of what they buy at the store, especially if they have a hypo or hyperglycemia issue.
The common lay person with or without a medical background would not necessarily know how to compute how much sugar is in the beverages they drink. In addition to reading food and beverage labels, know how to calculate the sugar in in what you eat and drink. It is helpful to health and wellness if a consumer takes the time to,
- Read food and beverage labels
- Pick up a container of something such as a quart of chocolate milk
- Write down the number of servings per this quart of milk
- Write down how many grams of sugar are contained in this quart of milk
- Multiply the servings per container by the grams of sugar
This calculation gives the consumer the total grams of sugar in the quart of chocolate milk
Now go one-step further and divide these total grams of sugar by 4. This will tell the consumer how many teaspoons of sugar are in your quart of chocolate milk.
This formula is helpful calculating sugar content on a can, pint, quart, gallon, cup and more of any kind of beverage from soda to milk, juice and even alcohol.
Remember that 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Even a medical professional is not especially aware of all the hidden sodium and sugar in our food sources. We need to be more mindful of what we are feeding our family and ourselves. All good things in life take some time and effort.
When I speak about the problems that my son experienced with sugar content in his body, I am not talking about the sugar one gets out of the sugar jar. All the hidden sugars my son was digesting came from many sources, of which as a nurse I never dreamed of considering, and canned vegetables was a big mistake for us as a family.
Sweeteners Versus Sugar?
Confusing Part of Sweet
There are many forms of sugars or carbohydrates in the foods we eat. The various types of sugars we eat come from starches such as pastas and breads, sugar and fiber. Sugar has a language all its own. Learn the language of sugar, such as,
- Low calorie sweeteners
- Naturally occurring sugar
- Added sugar
- Sugar Alcohols
- Reduced - calorie sweeteners
- Processed grains
- Enriched grains
- Complex carbohydrates
- Refined grains
- Whole grains
Am I confusing anyone yet?
When reading a food or beverage label and the label states the product contains total carbohydrates, this means that the product contains all three types of carbohydrates.
Sugar content does not always come from sugar itself. Sugar can come from starches. The following food sources contain starch, thus sugar. The following products are high in starch content, yet are excellent sources of carbohydrates with a wealth of vitamins and minerals. The body utilized this type of sugar differently then processed or raw granulated sugars.
Too Much of Anything is Not Good
- Pinto beans
- Dried beans
- Kidney beans
- Bread products such as breads, crackers and other grain products
Sugar is sugar, but there are two types of sugar natural and added. Some products contain natural sugars such as milk and fresh fruit. As an example, when fruit is processed and canned sugar is added to the product there is a lot of hidden sugar in that can of fruit. When calculating the amount of sugar grams in a product the label includes both the added and natural sugars.
Research and learn what products contain good sugar content. Products that contain bad sugar is kind of a no brainer and include such things as candy, cookies, soda and much more. It is probably alright to have these things once in a while in small amounts, but certainly eating these products every day only contributes to health issues and obesity.
The Subject of Sugar Can Get Out of Control
Sugar wears many hats and carries many different names, so much so that it is a confusing subject to many people. This can make your head spin.
- Table sugar
- Brown sugar
- Beet sugar
- Cane sugar
- Confectioner's sugar
- 4 x sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Maple syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Sugar cane syrup
- Agave nectar
- Fruit sugar
If you are a consumer who has thought a lot about taking sugar off your kitchen shelves and replacing it with a sweetener you will have to do some more research as a sweetener can be good and no so good if used long term in place of sugar in your home. Both sugar and sweeteners, when over used can cause some problems. What does one do or do they just not worry about the issue and keep going with bad eating habits?
One of the first sweeteners researchers brought to the market was saccharine. This sweetener has a history back to the late 1600's. Diabetics ate saccharin in the place of sugar all the time. I had a dear uncle whose doctor diagnosed him with diabetes. The doctor prescribed my uncle with an oral diabetes medication and sodium saccharin. In the end, my uncle's doctor diagnosed him with cancer of the stomach and esophagus and my uncle passed away in a matter of two weeks, this was 1972. Doctors cannot say for sure, but he did eat a lot of saccharine. In1977, the government banned saccharin due to causing cancer in lab rats.
After all the testing with sugar substitutes it looks as though Stevia won the race for sweeteners on the market today. Stevia sweetener comes from the Stevia plant and is a natural sweetener with no known side effects. This is the sweetener that I use currently. I would rather use no sweetener or sugar if it were not for this brand. The types of sweeteners on the market today are many. Many of these sweeteners are questionable.
The bottom line is to calculate the sugar content your family and you are consuming and try to decrease the amount of sugar consumed on a daily basis.
Reference only: http://www.internationalsteviacouncil.org/
Reference only: http://www.cspinet.org/stevia/