Reduce added sugars

The easiest way to do this is to steer clear of packaged goods such as cookies, candy, cakes, crackers, breakfast cereals, and juices. Instead, opt for whole grains over refined ones. We’re going to start reading food labels here. Scroll down the Nutrition Facts label until you see Total Sugars and then Added Sugars under the carbohydrate section. We’re going to track this number for the next 9 days. The maximum allowance of added sugars per day is 50 grams.



Gillian Ward
Barbell Logic Director of Nutrition

What are added sugars?

Added sugars include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. They do not include naturally occurring sugars that are found in milk, fruits, and vegetables. As recommended by the FDA, the Daily Value for added sugars is 50 grams per day based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet. This means that added sugars should account for no more than 10% of your total daily calories—ideally much less.

Sometimes added sugars are in the most unexpected of places—dressings, marinades, seasoning packets, condiments, yogurt, and flavored creamers. These things add up because we tend to use them in much larger quantities than a single serving size. For instance, one tablespoon of a popular brand of regular ketchup has 4 grams of added sugar.

I encourage you to go through your kitchen and read food labels. I guarantee that there will be some upsetting surprises. I’ll give you an example, Sunday I came in from a long, strenuous hike in the cold and wanted a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup for lunch. I reached for a can of one of my childhood favorites, Campbell’s Tomato Soup, and decided to actually read the label before dumping it into the pot to heat. One serving (which I planned to have 2.5 servings because who doesn’t finish the whole can) has 8 grams of ADDED SUGAR. That’s 20 grams in the can or the equivalent of 1 full cup of a premium brand of ice cream! I skipped the soup because I knew that I wanted to eat dessert that night.

Just how much sugar do typical Americans consume? To check this out and see some other cool facts about sugar, take a look here: How Much Sugar Do You Eat? You May Be Surprised!

Don’t forget to keep up Day 1’s assignment, too:

  • Drink your water

Remember that we are stacking all 10 habits.

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