Sugars, sugars

In May 2015 WHO (World Health Organization) published “Sugars intake for adults and children”

Guideline (you can download a free version here: http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sugars_intake/en/)

As of public knowledge there hasn’t been a proactive attitude from governments and public agencies in general. However doctors, pharmacists and nutritionists are making a strong  point of the maximum added to foods sugar intake per day.

WHO recommends, for adults and children, a daily intake of free sugars of a 10% of their total energy intake. That is approximately 12 tablespoons of sugar per day. Free sugars refers to sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose (table sugar) that is added to processed foods and to concentrated juices.

No studies show that naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables have a negative effect on our health.

There is strong evidence (refer as an example to http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/4/827S.full) that the maximum recommended amount, if not exceeded, decreases the risk of obesity and tooth decay. If further decreased (say to 5%) there have been demonstrated to be further benefits, everything tightly correlated with prevention of the so called Non Communicable Diseases or chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease)

Dr Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development stated: “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases.” but what are we, moms, dads, individuals, doing in the meantime? How can we help us and our loved ones now?

The easiest way to get started is understand the recommendation and the reason for it. Once we have that internalized start going thru your fridge, freezer and pantry and noting how  many processed foods we consume and how many “no processed” or naturally occurring ones we have. Everything counts, natural fruits or canned fruit? Fresh salmon or canned tuna? Pre packed lasagna or crock pot lasagna? Boxed mac and cheese or pasta with cheese?

Write down your menu for last week and for the upcoming week start with one meal at a time. Choose one meal and try to switch to fresh foods. Take some extra time to make more home made meals during the week. Only with that decision or initiative I can assure you your daily sugar intake will decrease. Look at the labels on the boxes that you are switching with fresh foods and write down the sugar content, add it up,,,,what number comes up?

Share your strategy for decreasing your free sugars daily intake today!

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