In an attempt to harness Americans’ obesity epidemic, the banning or taxing of sugary beverages has become the talk of the town. New York City Mayor Bloomberg made headlines by proposing to restrict the sale of gigantic sizes of soda available in the Big Apple. Last week, the American Medical Association voted on a policy which recommended that if sweetened beverages were to be taxed that the levy should be used to fund anti-obesity programs and educational campaigns about the adverse health effects of overindulging these beverages.
While soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks collectively make up the largest category of contributors of added sugars in the American diet, they aren’t the sole source. According to the USDA, the other major sugary culprits are grain-based desserts (cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, donuts) and fruit drinks (lemonade, fruit drinks). Ironically, using a pie chart, here is the USDA’s visual breakdown of where added sugars are coming from in the American diet:
|Source: USDA, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010|
While it makes sense to reduce the amount of sugary beverages that you consume daily, you may want to also think about restricting the amount and frequency of bakery sweets that you are reaching for on a regular basis. Cutting back on cookies, cake, and donuts will not only cutback on added sugars but also calories from fat in your diet. Cutting back on overall dietary calories is a must to lose body weight.
Skip the slice of high calorie apple pie and reach for a lower calorie sweet apple instead.
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