What Are Added Sugars?
Tiffany Batsakis, MS, RD, LD
Meals on Wheels of San Antonio
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines were recently released and a key recommendation is to “consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars.” In this blog post today, you will learn the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugars, how to look for sugars on a nutrition label, and how to make delicious cookies with no added sugar.
The common misconception with added sugars is they are the same as naturally occurring sugars. This is not true! Added sugars are sugars (or syrups) added to the food (or beverage) when they are being prepared. Foods and drinks that contain added sugars include: cakes, cookies, donuts, sodas, some sports drinks, and other sugar sweetened beverages like your Starbucks Frappuccino. Naturally occurring sugars are those that occur by nature in food and beverages, examples of these are: fruit, plain yogurt, and milk.
When grocery shopping, make sure to look at the nutrition facts label and find the line that is labeled sugars to determine the amount in that product. The grams of sugar in the product signify both natural and added sugar. A new nutrition facts label will be coming out to break down natural and added sugar for you. As of right now, you need to be a detective and read the ingredients list to look for added sugars! It can hide in many different names such as those ending in ose; examples include maltose and sucrose, as well as cane sugar, raw sugar, or high fructose corn syrup.
Now that you know how to look for added sugars, it’s important to emphasize limiting them in the diet. The average American woman should stay under 6 teaspoons of sugar and men, under 9 teaspoons per day. One sugar packet or cube equals about one teaspoon of sugar.
(Pictured: Hannah Stockman, Baptist Health System Dietetic Internship)
Now for that cookie recipe, it comes from ohsheglows.com.
These would be a great option in the morning for a
quick breakfast paired with some Greek yogurt or low-fat milk for some protein.
Thumbprint Breakfast Cookies
Yields: 8 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons GROUND flax seed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 8 teaspoons no-sugar added jam
- Peanut butter for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, add the oats and pulse until a coarse meal forms.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the jam and nut butter. The mixture will be very wet and dense.
- With a retractable ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough into 8 mounds. The cookies do not need to be spaced far apart on the baking sheet, as they don’t spread out. Press your thumb (or small spoon) into the center of each cookie to create a well. Fill each well with 1 heaping teaspoon of jam.
- Bake cookies at 350F for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are slightly firm, but soft and doughy in the middle. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack for 10 minutes or so.
- If desired, serve cookies with your favorite nut or seed butter. They also taste great with a pat of coconut oil or vegan butter!