I keep a post it note in plain sight on my desk, it is from my daughter and it reads:

There are only 5 things you can control

  1. Your thoughts
  2. Your feelings
  3. Your attitude
  4. Your effort
  5. Your decisions

And I’d like to add another thing that we can control

  1. Your sugar!

Most of you reading this today are responsible for purchasing groceries, planning meals and prepping meals. I urge you to take control of your decision to minimize sugar consumption when it comes to feeding yourself and your family.

“Over the last 30 years, added sugar has been one of the leading contributors to America’s obesity epidemic.” “Eating a diet high in added sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, obesity and more.” – https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips

Understand though, that not all sugar is equal; there is naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. “Naturally-occurring sugars are found in foods like fruit (as fructose) or milk (as lactose). These naturally-occurring sugars are usually accompanied with fiber, which makes the sugar a more healthful, sustained source of energy. – https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips

What’s a prudent shopper to do?

In an effort to help consumers make more informed choices the FDA now requires an additional line on food and drink nutrition labels. You’ll find this information under the lines denoting total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, total sugars and then there is a line that reads, “includes “X” grams of added sugars. – https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips

Pay attention to those added sugars, they have no nutritional merit and eaten in excess can be harmful to your health.

How Much is Too Much?

The American Heart Association recommends that women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugars per day, and that men should not consume more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day. Teens and children should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Unfortunately, it is estimated that we consume 3 times that amount per day!

How does a Mom fight the pre-packaged sugar industry?

“A study was conducted as part of a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative, Food-PRICE, at Tufts University to identify nutrition strategies that can have the greatest impact on improving diet and health in the U.S.” – https://newsroom.heart.org

The study predicts that by simply adding this information to nutrition fact labels, it could “prevent more than 354,000 cardiovascular disease cases and lead to almost 600,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes by 2034.

The estimated reduction in net healthcare costs would be more than $31 billion, after policy costs have been factored in, and not including societal costs, such as lost productivity. – https://newsroom.heart.org

Knowledge is power & the sugar industry knows it!

In explaining the potential effect that a mandated “added sugars” line on food labels will have on sugar content in foods, Micha points to recent experience with food manufacturers who reduced or removed trans fats from their products following a government mandate to label trans-fats on products in the U.S. The effect was that manufacturers drastically reduced trans fats in their product once being made to disclose the truth. “That suggests that mandated labeling of added sugars content would likely stimulate the food industry to reduce added sugar in their products.   – https://newsroom.heart.org

As a Mom I appreciate the pressure the FDA is putting on food manufacturers so that I can be more confident about the foods I feed my family. Likewise, as an American I look forward to a society full of people in good health with clear, creative minds leading the USA into a great future.

See you in the grocery aisle, reading those labels,


Infographic by https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/more-sugar-more-problems