Sweet Summertime

SWEET SUMMERTIME...the sugar in your drinks. CHEERS?? Recently, patients have come in sharing with us the types of drinks and quantities they are enjoying. It is startling to see the amounts of sugar that our society is consuming. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found that Americans consume 156 pounds on average per year. Sound like a lot? This is 31 five pound bags for each of us. We know that when we are eating "sweets" like brownies, snow cones, gummy bears, etc that these choices have sugar in them, but there are many hidden sugars, as well.  Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, director of sports nutrition at Penn State University, has found, "the major source of "added sugar" -not including naturally occurring sugars, like the fructose in fruit- is soft drinks. They account for 33 % of all added sugars consumed. According to the USDA 26% of added sugars come from prepared foods like ketchup, peanut butter, and canned vegetables. Connie Crawley, a nutrition and health specialist in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia, said that, "people are often surprised that low-fat products are not that different in calories," but are typically higher in sugar. Sugar causes cavities. It also increases our caloric intake, which can cause health problems like diabetes and obesity. A recent study at La Salle University found that," in the last 20 years, we've seen an explosion of sugared drinks in the marketplace: teas, sports drinks, juice-based drinks."  In fact, in 10 years the consumption of added sugar in the US grew 20%. Sugar should account for no more that 10% of daily calories, so in a 2000 calorie per day diet, that is about 8 teaspoons. One can of regular soda, has an equivalent of 10. Here are some "nutrition" facts on some of the popular beverages we hear that are favorites among some of our patients.

Make wise choices in your serving sizes. Be informed with carefully reading the labels. Sugar does affect your dental health and much more. Cheers!! Here's to making your Summertime Sweet with healthful choices, great adventure and lots of laughter:)

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