TORONTO – There are the usual suspects for sugar: chocolate, candy and syrupy sweet drinks. But what about pasta sauce, yogurt and even bread?
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) dropped the gauntlet on consumers with its updated recommendations: sugar intake should be just five per cent of your total calories, half of what the global health agency had recommended years ago.
For an average woman who eats about 2,000 calories a day, that’s roughly 25 grams of sugar – less than half of a can of pop, about two portions of yogurt or an entire Caramilk bar.
“It’s completely doable to be within that five per cent but it really means not treating yourself all day. Where it gets tricky is the nickelling and diming you can do with foods that you may not recognize as having any sugar in them,” Katie Jessop, a registered dietitian with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, said.
“It’s an interesting challenge,” Jessop told Global News.
The WHO says it hopes its recommendations make consumers cognizant that the food they may be eating isn’t fuel, but empty calories. So if your morning meal is a latte and a muffin, that’s more for feeding your growing waistline than your energy.
The WHO says its draft guidelines apply to all monosaccharides – such as glucose and fructose – as well as sucrose or table sugar that are added to food by the manufacturer, cook or consumer. It even includes sugar naturally found in honey, syrups and fruit concentrates. But the global health body says most of the sugar we eat today is “hidden” in processed foods we wouldn’t think would have it.
Global News lists a handful of foods that slyly sneak in some sugar.
(Graphic courtesy Dani-Elle Dube)
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