Friday, March 2, 2012

Sugar Shocker

 Written by University of Houston Dietetic Intern, Amanda Gilles

Did you know that on average a person is supposed to consume around 6-7 tsp or around 100-120 calories from sugar each day? In reality most people are consuming 35+ tsp of sugar on a daily basis! That is A LOT of sugar, plus a lot of empty calories! Empty calories can lead to weight gain and many chronic health conditions such as Type II Diabetes.

Here is the amount of sugar in some foods that may surprise you:

6 oz package of Twizzlers = 17+ tsp of sugar!
Large Movie Soda= 37 tsp of sugar!
Snapple Lemon Iced Tea= 11.5 tsp sugar!
Strawberry Yoplait Yogurt= 7 tsp sugar!
Pop Tart= 5 tsp sugar!
4 tbsp ketchup= 4 tsp sugar!
*** 1 tsp = 4 g sugar

Try to avoid or limit the following high sugar options: sugar cereals, cookies, candy, and cakes, low protein fruit flavored yogurt, syrups, ice creams, soda, fruit juice and sweet teas.
Instead reach for natural sources of sugars that will also provide nutrients, and fiber such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products.

Try this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe for a sweet treat that isn’t loaded with sugars.

 PB Cookie Dough Bites, makes about 15 cookies
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-4 teaspoons water (opt)
  • 2-4 tablespoons flour (opt)
  1. In a food processor, process the nuts until very fine.
  2. Add raisins through vanilla and process again, pulsing until smooth. I found that I needed to add a little water because my food processor couldn’t handle the stickiness. If you need to, add a teaspoon of water at a time until the whole mixture becomes well blended and sticks into a large dough ball.
  3. Remove dough from food processor. If you need to add some flour to degrease the dough a little bit, just incorporate it in with your hands. Form into small balls and press each ball twice with a fork to make a criss-cross pattern
Nutrition information per cookie: Calories 69; total fat 4g; Carbohydrate: 6.9g; protein: 2.3g. Adapted from


  1. What is the best type of yogurt? I feed my 11 month old a lot of yogurt, so I want to make sure I am giving her the right one!

  2. Greek Yogurt would be the best choice; aim for plain and add fresh fruit to it. Greek yogurt is higher in satisfying protein and contains less sugars.