The Geneva-based organization held a conference on Monday to discuss its new guidelines. Dr. Francesco Branco, head of nutrition for health and development for WHO, spoke on the modern risks a high-sugar diet poses to the average consumer. “Sugar might become the new tobacco in terms of risk,” Branco said, according to CBC News. “It’s sometimes in condiments, sauce added to meats,” and for instance, “a tablespoon of ketchup has up to seven grams of sugar [and] sweetened yogurt up to six grams.”
We normally don’t think of ketchup as sugary or yogurt as being just as unhealthy as ice cream. These are the “sugars we don’t see,” according to Branco. And they appear in a variety of foods otherwise deemed fair game. For instance, if it weren’t for the added vitamin C boost orange juice gives you, it’d be just as unhealthy as a can of soda. A 16-ounce bottle of Minute Maid Premium original OJ contains 220 calories and 48 grams of sugar, which is 1 gram more than an entire bag of Skittles, and by the WHO’s measure, twice the sugar you need in a day — before you’ve even finished breakfast.
The quote in the segment above that sugar might become the new tobacco in terms of risk really struck me. Sugar has found it’s way into so many different products now, it is hard to imagine limiting intake to 25 grams. I just purchased a bag of Quaker Snack Mix from a vending machine to see if it contains sugar. Four grams. If you go by the 5% rule that means that after eating the chips I’ve had about 15% of my total sugar intake for the day. From a bag of chips. It is important to note that it is the refined sugars not the natural sugars found in fruit that are bad.
March 6, 2014