A Spoonful of Sugar (Heart Health)
Fat has twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate, so it’s easy to see why cutting back on fat can help control weight. But why should you cut back on added sugar?
Sugar is present naturally in some foods (like the fructose in fruit or the lactose in milk). It’s also added to foods at the table or during processing and preparation (like the high-fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and breakfast cereal). Health experts have several reasons for saying that we should cut back on added sugar:
Studies show that people who consume many foods and drinks with added sugar tend to consume more calories than people who consume fewer of these foods. They also show a link between weight gain and drinking sweetened beverages. Cutting back on added sugars, especially from sweetened beverages such as regular soda and fruit punch, can help you and your family maintain a healthy weight.
Added sugar provides calories but no additional nutrients. An eating plan that helps you and your family maintain a healthy weight is one that focuses on getting plenty of nutrients within your calorie needs.
Many children and teens, especially girls, don’t get enough calcium, a mineral that’s important for strong bones and teeth and other body functions. Giving your children fat-free or low-fat milk instead of sweetened beverages can give their bodies a boost.
It’s important to encourage your family to cut back on sugar consumption. These simple steps will help keep excess weight off and help keep them healthy.