Sleuthing For Hidden Sugar

Just how much of the Sweet Stuff is hiding your foods?
Just how much of the Sweet Stuff is hiding in your foods?

Ready for a little experiment? Grab your jar of sugar (c’mon, Paleo lover or not, I KNOW you all still have one…), a measuring spoon, a plate and a can of regular pop. Then, dump one teaspoon of sugar onto the plate. Repeat this procedure exactly nine more times. Do you know what you have there, besides a mess? The amount of sugar in one 12-ounce can of pop! Just look at that mound!

Now, locate the sugar listing on the soda’s nutrition label – 40 grams. Let me make this a bit more simple for you: Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. Now do the math. Verdict? That innocent can of pop contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and 160 empty calories. Gross.

Throughout the rest of this post, I want you all to visualize what it would be like to simply take and eat each teaspoon of sugar mentioned here, one dry mouthful at a time……

Even if you don’t drink “regular” pop, the typical American (…why is it that these studies never talk about Canadians?) now eats the equivalent of about 31 teaspoons (124 grams) of added sugar every day. That sugar alone adds up almost 500 extra calories – about 25% of the average person’s caloric intake. WOW! I guess it’s a good thing that most of you CrossFit Zoners aren’t what we would call your ‘typical’ citizen!

So how much should you limit your sugar intake? Several health organizations, including the American Heart Association, suggest that added sugar should be limited to no more than 6-7 percent of your total calories. This does not include naturally occurring sugars found in fruits (fructose) and dairy products (lactose).

Unless you have a PhD in label reading, it can often be confusing to try to find out how much added sugar a food contains. The sugar listing on a Nutrition Facts label lumps all sugars together, including naturally-occurring milk and fruit sugars, which can be deceiving. This explains why, according to the label, one cup of milk has 11 grams of sugar even though it doesn’t contain any “added” sugar.

To determine how much sugar has been added to a food product, try reading the ingredients list. Learn to identify terms that mean added sugars, including; sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, honey, invert sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, corn sweeteners, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, malt, molasses, and turbinado sugar, to name a few.

Now, just to really ruin any possible pleasure remaining in your naughty sugar cravings, check out the chart below that details some of the approximate amounts of hidden sugar in your favourite comfort foods:

Cakes and Cookies
Angel food cake                  4 oz piece              7 tsp
Banana Cake                      4 oz piece              2 tsp
Brownie, no icing               1 oz piece              4 tsp
Cheesecake                        4 oz piece              2 tsp
Chocolate cake, iced         4 oz piece             10 tsp
Chocolate chip cookie       1 cookie                 2 tsp
Coffee cake                          4 oz piece              5 tsp
Cupcake, iced                      4 oz piece              6 tsp
Fig Newtons                         1 cookie                 5 tsp
Gingersnaps                        1 cookie                 3 tsp
Glazed doughnut                1 doughnut            6 tsp
Oatmeal cookie                   1 cookie                2 tsp
Chocolate candy bar           1 bar                      7 tsp
Chocolate mint                    1 piece                    2 tsp

Dare I say….. yum?  Somehow I doubt it.

Today’s Workout

Buy-in: Front Squat 5 x 5

WOD: “Mikko”  aka FTO (Floor to Overhead) Ladder

In the first minute, perform one rep of floor to overhead (can be snatched, clean and jerked, clean and press etc… just get it overhead safely and efficiently).  In the second minute, perform two reps and so on until you cannot perform the required reps.  Your last fully completed round is your score.

Elite:  95/135

Zone 4:  75/115

Zone 3:  65/95

Zone 2:  55/75

Zone 1:  Scale as needed

Games prep – 135/185 (only do this if your max is over 165/205 and want to work on your heavier metcons.  Keep up to the pace as much as possible, but you must complete at least 6 rounds or the equivalent reps).

Cash-Out: Follow the leader stretches


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