If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, what’s 22 spoonfuls do for ya?

by Denis Faye - The Nutrition Nerd | August 25, 2009

Remember how a couple weeks ago, several major food companies tried extort our government into lowering tariffs and threatened a sugar shortage? Yeah! Good times.

Anyway, the American Heart Association has released a new study suggesting it’s not imported sugar tariffs causing the shortage, but rather the fact that we’re a bunch of sucrose pigs. As it turns out, the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, the equivalent of two cans of soda pop and a candy bar.

From Associated Press:

The guidelines do not apply to naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruit, vegetables or dairy products.

Rachel K. Johnson, lead author of the statement published online Monday in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, said it was time to give specific advice on how much added sugar Americans should be getting, not just advising moderation.

“Take a good hard look at your diet,” said Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington. “Figure out where the sources of added sugars are and think about how to cut back on that.”

She said about 8 ounces of fruit-flavored yogurt has about 6 teaspoons of added sugar; 8 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk has about 4 teaspoons; a cup of frosted whole grain cereal has about 3 teaspoons.

The biggest culprits for the glut of sugar? Soft drinks by far, followed by candy, cakes, cookies and pies.

My favorite part of this is that “pies” play a factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love pies, especially when they’re referred to in the plural, but I don’t see them around too often. Maybe Thanksgiving, July 4th, Three Stooges television marathons and the occasional trip to Marie Callendar’s. It’s so quaint. I’d almost put up with the 22 teaspoons of unneeded sugar just so that I could tell people I eat daily pies.

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