The holiday season is a time to get together and share a meal with family and friends. While there are a variety of foods served during this time of year, sweets and sugar are often some of the most prevalent menu items. Stay healthy and happy this season by reading your nutrition labels and keeping an eye on sugar intake.
Monitoring Sugar Intake
Do you know what one of the most dangerous and over consumed ingredients in our diets is? If you guessed “sugar” you guessed correctly! While sugar is perhaps one of the most delicious ingredients in our food and we love to eat sweets, too much sugar can be bad for us.
According to the Obesity Action Coalition, Americans drink more than 500 cans of soda every year, and one can of soda contains 10 tsp. of sugar. If you are the average American drinking 500 cans of soda a year you are taking in 52lbs. of sugar a year just from soft drinks. This is an extremely high sugar consumption considering the fact that men should consume no more than 9tsp. of sugar a day and women should consume no more than 6tsp.
Too much sugar can have a negative impact on our body leading to obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, tooth decay and even heart disease. It is important to become more aware of what we are putting into our bodies and what we are allowing our children to put into theirs so we can avoid health risks. In order to monitor sugar consumption we can read our food packaging labels and train ourselves to look at the nutrition value food is providing our bodies. While it is important to monitor calories, looking at sugar content is vital as well! Did you know that whether you are on the run or eating out, restaurants are legally required to provide you with the nutritional information to make healthy choices?
It is important to monitor sugar because it is in everything ranging from fast food, beverages, frozen food and so much more. Looking at nutrition labels is an excellent way to make sure we are not over consuming this ingredient. When we reach our limit we need to stop!
Nutrition Labels for Healthy Decisions
Nutrition Labels tell you about the nutrition of a particular product and include the following:
- Serving Size
- Number of Servings in the Package
- Calories per Serving
- Sugar per Serving
- Amount of Various Nutrients in the Product
Reading and understanding nutrition labels can help you make healthier food decisions, maintain a healthier weight and make sure you are consuming the right nutrients. If you are confused by labels consider reading our blog post “Confused by Labels?” which breaks down what you need to know about serving size, calories and vitamins and nutrients.
With the holidays right around the corner, let’s get started on understanding nutritional labels so we can have a happy healthy holiday season.