Food News Today for July 5th, 2014

Slash Sugar and Save Your Teeth. Sugar in Fruit Juice: Natural Vs Added.

July 5, 2014


According to a recent paper published in the journal, Public Health Nutrition, Sugar should not make up more than 3% of our energy intake. 

The World Health Organization has recently recommended 10% but urged countries to have an ambition to bring it down to 5% - so this new paper is pushing us even more! 

What's behind this… our teeth! The recent paper argues that the effect of sugar on our teeth persists throughout adulthood, causing high levels of disease, and that therefore our intake should be cut to no more than 3% of daily calories

Authors, and experts in the public health field, Aubrey Sheiham, Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health in the UK, and Philip James, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine  argue that dental decay is the most common disease in the world and as the junk-filled western diet is increasingly taken up in developing countries, where there is no fluoride in the water and little in the way of dentistry, it can cause misery and poor growth in children. The evidence they produced went before publication to the World Health Organization, which may have influenced their aspirational 5% limit from the latest guidelines.

Whether you can make it to 10% or 5% or maybe even their recommended 3%, a good starting point for everyone is to just cut out a little each day. Think of small ways you can cut out sugar.. one less spoonful in your coffee? Swap out a soda for a water? Try some almonds for an afternoon snack instead of that candy bar? Make small changes everyday, and soon you won't be missing that sugar at all!  


And speaking of sugar….natural or added?  Do you know the difference? Take for example, fruit juice, most of us know it has sugar in it, but is the sugar from the fruit or is the sugar added? How can you tell and what should you look out for? Gail Rampersaud, Associate in Nutrition Research & Education at the University of Florida shared some tips and pointers:

o   First, it is extremely important for consumers to understand that there are no added sugars in 100 percent fruit juices.  Metabolically, the body doesn’t know the difference between added sugars and natural sugars. But what is important is what travels with those sugars.

o   As there are many beverage choices in the grocery aisle, consumers should look for the words “100% fruit juice” on the label and keep an eye out for fruit-flavored beverages that end with “drink,” “ade” and “cocktail.” 

o   Beverages like 100% fruit juice, with natural sugars, have nutritional and health benefits that typically we don’t see associated with added-sugar beverages. 
o   One of the key messages in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to reduce the intake of added sugars, particularly from beverages. 


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