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49: Surprise! It’s Hidden Sugar

Jun 16, 2020

Think you’re eating pretty healthy? Maybe you should check the label again. That snack you grabbed on the health food aisle may be loaded with added sugar. Nutritionist Thunder Jalili has five everyday “healthy” foods that may have more sugar than you realize.

Episode Transcript

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The Danger of Hidden Sugars

Consuming too much sugar can be quite detrimental to your health. While they may taste good, refined sugars add no nutrients but a lot of calories to the feed we eat. They can lead to packing on extra pounds, impact your cardiovascular health, and increase your risk of diabetes.

According to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of added sugar a day (6 teaspoons and 25 grams for women). That may sound like a lot of sugar in a day and seem pretty easy to avoid, but you may be surprised at how much added sugar is in the food you eat every day.

Nutritionist Thunder Jalili, PhD, explains that even in the food that is "healthy" there can be a shocking amount of added sugar you don't realize you're consuming. For example:

  • 2 slices of white bread - 3g or 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Fast food bean burrito - 3g or 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • A small cup of flavored yogurt - 10g or 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • One Packet of flavored instant oatmeal - 18g or 4.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Name brand energy bar - 31g or 8 teaspoons of sugar

All of these items may seem like pretty normal items to consume every day. Some foods may even be bought on the health food aisle. It wouldn't be strange for a person to eat all of these in a single day. But when you add up the hidden added sugars it comes to 66 grams or 16 teaspoons of sugar in a single day. Nearly double what the AHA recommends.

Summer Plans During COVID-19

As the weather turns warmer and we get deeper into summer, we're all yearning for summer activities and vacations. But with the outbreak of COVID-19, a lot of summer plans have been canceled. Plus, with the risk of the virus still present, how can we still enjoy the summer while keeping ourselves and others safe?

First, consider risk. How much risk are you personally willing to tolerate? How does your home or work situation impact your risk toleration? Who are the people in your life that will be impacted by your decisions?

After you have a good handle on what you're comfortable with risk wise, you can then assess the riskiness of an activity based on these three values:

  • Time - How long will you be in close contact with another person?
  • Proximity - How close will you be to other people? How many people will be present?
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) - If you can't maintain physical distance, do you have equipment like masks to help reduce the risk of infection?

Analyze your summer activities to deem how risky they will be. It may not be a good idea to do a multi-day river rafting trip with a group of strangers, but a camping road trip to some of the more remote places of the country would be safer.

Get creative on how you can manipulate time, proximity, and PPE this summer to get out and have some fun while staying safe.

Odds and Ends - The 5k is this Saturday

The Who Cares About Men's Health 5K is this Saturday, June 20. We encourage anyone who wants to join this virtual race and show support for Mitch as he gets closer to his goal of going from couch to 5K. The virtual race can be completed any way you'd like, whether it be running, biking, walking, skipping, whatever you can do to get in your physical activity that day.

Just Going to Leave This Here

On this episode's Just Going to Leave This Here, Scot really appreciates Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg) on Twitter and his simple, holisitic approach to health. Troy is so desperate for sports that he has begun watching bowling and NASCAR.

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