Added Sugars and Empty Calories

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By now we've all heard the advice to cut down on added sugars. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans tout it. MyPlate asserts it. Even this blog has countless articles about the health dangers of added sugars.

But sometimes we need a fresh way to communicate this key information to our clients.

That's why I've made a brand-new (and printable!) handout that's all about added sugars: what they are and why they're bad for you. I've copied the text of the handout below, and if you like what you see, don't miss the printable handout at the bottom of this post.

Added Sugars: What You Need to Know

What Are Added Sugars?

Added sugars are any kinds of sugars that are added to a product during cooking or processing. Natural sugars are the opposite of added sugars, and these occur naturally in a food as it grows.

For example, you can find added sugars in things like candy, soda, and baked treats. In all of these foods, the sugar is an added ingredient. You also consume added sugars when you stir sugar into your morning tea or coffee. In fruit and milk, however, the sugars that are present are naturally-occurring. This makes them part of the food’s full nutrient package.

Shift to foods that are low in added sugars whenever you can. Try drinking water instead of sugary drinks.

What Impact Do Added Sugars Have on Health?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “Eating and drinking too many foods and beverages with added sugars isn’t good for your health. They add calories, but don’t add any essential nutrients.”

Added sugars are high in empty calories, which means that they are full of calories that don’t have any nutrients. Empty calories just add to your daily total of calories without contributing any health benefits. If you eat too many empty calories, then you could find it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight and still get all the nutrients you need in a day.

Most people eat roughly 32 teaspoons of added sugar each day [source]. That’s too much for good health!

Did you like the preview? Don't miss the free printable nutrition handout, available now!

Added Sugars Refresher

Oh, and here are some extra educational materials about added sugars...

And, as always, there are lots of resources about MyPlate, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and added sugars, all in the Nutrition Education Store!

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