Since sugar is such a big topic these days I thought I’d share my thoughts about it in this blog. Sugar by itself it is neither good nor bad. The positive or negative effects of sugar result from how we choose to consume it. In order to make choices about our consumption, it’s helpful to have some information.

Here’s a little-known fact: every 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. (The spoon you use every day is a teaspoon)

– Who knows what 4 grams of sugar looks like, not many of us. But we all know what a teaspoon looks like.

If you look on the food item’s nutrition label you will see under “Carbohydrates” the listing for “Sugar”. As you read the number of grams there, divide them by 4 and you will now know how many teaspoons of sugar are contained in one serving of this item. For example, in a 6 ounce container ( just a little less than one cup) of one popular brand of low-fat yogurt, it states there are 36 grams of sugar which equals 9 teaspoons in 6 ounces. In another brand I picked up there were 12 grams which equals 3 teaspoons. Can you visualize 9 teaspoons of sugar (like the spoon you use every day) in a 6 ounce container of yogurt? Just for fun, take a moment to measure out 9 teaspoons of sugar on a plate. Would you choose to eat 9 spoonfuls ? How does it feel when you visualize it?

Here’s another important thing to know. All sugar is not created equal. There are naturally occurring sugars like fructose, the sugar in fruit, and lactose, the type of sugar in dairy products. Why does this matter? Because naturally occurring sugars like fructose and lactose generally come packaged with fiber, fat or nutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Because of this our body processes these more natural sources of sugar more slowly, which has beneficial effects. If you’re interested, you can look under the “Ingredients” on the label and see if there’s any added sugar. It can appear in many forms, here’s just a few of them, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, anything that ends in “ose”, brown sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, honey and many more.

So, while you’re in the privacy of your own home just grab something you eat frequently and take a look at the label. How many grams of sugar does it say are in this item? Divide that number by 4 and you will have your answer for one serving. As you visualize or measure out this many spoonfuls of sugar, what do you think? Does this contribute to your intention for your personal health and fitness? If not you can always chose again, no self-judgement is necessary.

The theme of this blog is “feeling better”. I have experienced how powerful it is to have information that we can actually use to bring us better health if we choose. My intention is to offer things that I have learned that might contribute to a lighter, brighter more healthful life for you, inside and out.

With love, Jackie