If you want to know how much sugar food manufacturers are adding to your foods, today’s your last day to tell the FDA. That could make a difference to how much added sugars people consume, suggests a recent study, which found that Americans are getting far more of our added sugars from sugary beverages than desserts or candy combined. And, for the most part, we are purchasing those sugary products from stores.
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found that almost 15 percent of Americans’ daily calories comes from sugars added to our foods or drinks.
For cancer prevention, cutting down on sugary beverages is one of AICR’s 10 recommendations. Sugary sodas and other beverages link to weight gain, and being overweight links to increased risk of eight cancers.
In an average American’s day, sodas and energy sports drinks was the largest source of added sugars, making up 34 percent. Grain desserts, such as cookies and other baked goods, was the next largest category coming in at 13 percent; fruit drinks, candy and dairy desserts followed, at 8, 7 and 6 percent, respectively.
People are talking a lot about sugar these days, especially one kind called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – a sugar that seems to be added to just about all sweets in a box or package. HFCS usually contains more of one type of sugar – fructose – than table sugar or corn syrup.
We know that too many sugary drinks – regardless of the type of sugar – can lead to obesity, which is a cause of eight different cancers. But some researchers believe that fructose is more harmful than other sugars, leading to a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Others disagree, leaving the research to be inconclusive.
As the research continues on fructose, a new study published in the journal Nutrition, says that many sugary beverages Americans are drinking – whether it’s HFCS soda or apple juice — actually contain similar amounts of fructose. Fructose is one of the two sugars that make up sucrose or table sugar; it is also a natural sugar found in fruit and fruit juice.
For their study, the researchers analyzed the sugar concentrations of the most popular sodas, 100% fruit juices, and juice drinks, including sports drinks. The researchers found that fructose levels among some HFCS drinks are often higher than a commonly used database researchers use. Continue reading
A calorie is a calorie – eat too many and you’ll gain weight; eat less and you’ll lose weight. Sounds simple, but a New York Times article by two obesity researchers is making headlines, and they question whether focusing on calories alone is really the answer for weight loss. It’s an important issue because obesity links to eight different cancers.
Their hypothesis, published last Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proposes that the driving force for obesity in America is because we eat too many refined carbohydrates – chips, cakes, soft drinks, sugary foods and refined grains – rather than just too many calories. They say eating these foods can lead to higher insulin levels and an environment in our body that promotes fat storage. Their proposal that type of food is more important than total calories for both becoming obese and for losing weight is interesting, but does need more research.
What research is clear on – we know that cutting back on sugary foods and drinks and other refined carbohydrate foods is one important strategy in a total program for health and weight loss. And substituting whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains can help lower cancer risk. Continue reading