Naturally Occurring Sugars Show Their Sweet Side

With the rising popularity of the Paleo diet and other low-carb eating styles, many people have questions about which carbohydrates, specifically sugars, they should and shouldn’t be consuming. Ellie Krieger, a registered dietician, recently took on this issue in her healthful eating column for the Washington Post. Krieger explains that there is an important difference between added sugars and naturally occurring sugars: Added sugars, such as white sugar, agave, honey, and evaporated cane juice, are not present in foods to begin with; instead, they are added during the manufacturing process. Naturally occurring sugars are exactly what they sound like—they are already present in foods without further processing.

Krieger, along with the FDA, recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to less than 10 tsp per day. And while this limit is currently not on Nutrition Facts labels, the FDA recently announced a proposal to include the percent daily value of added sugars in packaged foods so consumers can better monitor their sugar intake. As for foods with notable amounts of naturally occurring sugars, such as fruits and dairy products, Krieger says these are usually fine as a part of a balanced diet, as they also contain fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The same goes for smoothies, although Krieger recommends adding in some protein to make them a more balanced meal or snack.

Source: Washington Post

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