Learn About Added Sugars with SuperTracker

 
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Have you ever heard of SuperTracker?

SuperTracker is an interactive tool available for free through the USDA’s Choose MyPlate initiative. With SuperTracker, you can plan, analyze, and track your daily food choices and physical activity.

Recently, SuperTracker was updated to include information about added sugars. Did you know that the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugars to no more than 10% of daily calorie intake? Since food labels currently do not separate added sugars from naturally-occurring sugars (like the lactose in milk or the fructose in fruit) it can be difficult for people to accurately calculate their added sugar intakes. SuperTracker meets that need with information from a database of over 8,000 different foods.

With this database, you can look up individual foods, or create a profile that includes your height, weight, age, gender, and physical activity levels — this will help you customize a daily food plan. Choose an activity level, or individualize the program even more by selecting the option to base recommendations on exercise you enter into the tracker. The physical activity level affects your calorie goals.

A very helpful feature in SuperTracker is the ‘compare food’ button. This allows people to compare the nutrient content of two different foods. I selected chocolate or vanilla ice cream as a comparison to my frozen yogurt, and discovered that one cup of ice cream contains 30 grams of added sugars — 60% of my daily limit. I’m psyched that I made a lower added sugar (and lower calorie) choice!

My Coach Center is a virtual coaching platform that uses the information in SuperTracker to set personal goals in up to 5 different areas — weight management, physical activity, calories, food groups, and nutrients. Unfortunately, added sugar is not one of the nutrients that can be tracked. Once personal goals are set, you can choose to receive daily, weekly, or monthly support via email or the Coach Center within SuperTracker.

Until food labels identify the amount of added sugars in foods, use SuperTracker to quickly find out this information when choosing healthier foods. It’s also a great way to improve your eating habits and lifestyle!

By Lynn Grieger RDN, CDE, CPT, CWC

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