Baby Boomers Are Going Sour on Sugar

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Source: IFIC

Decades ago, Baby Boomers worried about the fat in the butter dish. Today, they have shifted their worries to the sugar in the sugar bowl.

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 adults conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), over 35 percent of Baby Boomers believe that added sugars are less healthy than they used to be, with over 65 percent of those surveyed reporting that they are trying to consume less. Why? Calories count and with over 35 percent of folks aged 60 and over being obese, cutting back on sugary calories in the diet is a sweet way to shrink your waist. Weight aside, research also suggests that a healthy diet lower in sugary foods and beverages may also help you reduce your risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Americans, on average, are consuming about 13 percent of their daily calories from added sugars, way over the recommendation to consume less than 10 percent. So where is all this sugar coming from in the diet? Take a look:

Added sugars in the diets of Americans
Added sugars in the diets of Americans
Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the largest contributor of sweet calories in the American diet is beverages. We are gulping too many sugary beverages daily, with soft drinks, fruit drinks, and sweetened coffee and tea at the top of the list. For most Boomers who need to consume only about 2,000 calories a day, limiting your added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories translates to consuming no more than 50 grams or the equivalent of about 13 teaspoons of added sugars daily. While that may sound like a lot, it really isn’t. That’s the equivalent of a little over 12 ounces of soda daily:

Teaspoon of added sugar in soda
Teaspoon of added sugar in soda
Source: Nutrition & You

To reduce the added sugars in your diet, try focusing on switching to less sugary beverages. Here are 3 tips that can help:

1. Try sparkling water to quench your thirst. Too bland for you? Add a slice of a lemon, lime, or any other fruit to the water.

2. When shopping for fruit juice, look for sugary code words on the label, such as fruit “drink”, “punch”, and “cocktail.” These words mean that there may be more added sugars than fruit in each serving. Stick with only 100% fruit juice, and better yet, eat more whole fruits than juices to increase the fiber in your diet.

3. Beware of coffee beverages that come pre-sweetened with syrups and whipped cream. The added sugars (and calories) in them can be higher than a dessert. If you want to indulge at the java shop, order a cappuccino. It tastes as though you are splurging, but it is the foamy milk, not the added sugars, that makes this java beverage richly divine.

Follow Joan on Twitter: @JoanSalgeBlake

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