Did you know that there are three main types of carbohydrates?
- Starch (complex carbohydrates like beans and veggies)
Sugar found in food can occur naturally, such as fructose found in fruit or lactose found in dairy products. It can also be added to many everyday foods in the form of honey, molasses, beet sugar, cane sugar, syrups, agave, sucrose, glucose, and dextrose (or anything else ending in “ose”) to name a few.
The average American consumes nearly 400 calories from added sugars each day (that doesn’t include naturally occurring sugars found in dairy products and fruit). Recommendations from the American Heart Association suggest that women consume no more than 100 calories and men no more than 150 calories from added sugars each day. According to the USDA discretionary or “extra” calories, those that provide no nutrition, amount to about 30-42% of American’s total caloric intake.
Added sugars are typically found in:
- Fruit drinks
- Jellies and jams
- Bars (including protein bars)
- Protein powder
- Peanut butter
Almost everyone, crossfitters included, can decrease their added sugar intake and increase their fiber and complex carbohydrate intake. Reading the nutrition label is an important first step. If a food contains no milk or fruit and there is sugar listed on the label, it’s added. Products with added sugar should be consumed in moderation. Remember, a “treat” it’s not a “treat” if you have it every day. Check out our recipe posts for ideas or consider ways to reduce the sugar content of some of your favorite recipes.
- Types of Carbohydrates. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/types-of-carbohydrates.html
- References: Sugar Kills! Nancy Appleton PhD About. (2009, May 11). Retrieved February 12, 2015, from http://nancyappleton.com/about/
- Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1259768446405CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627v1%20(Added%20Sugars).pdf.