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Sugar in foods/drink

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Old 01-18-2007, 10:19 PM   #1
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Question Sugar in foods/drink

I bought some really nice pineapple and coconut juice today, thinking that since it was juice, it was healthy. Boy was I wrong! I drank the majority of the carton throughout the day, and then checked the nutritional values, to find that it was actually from concentrate and that there was 28.5g of sugar per serving, meaning 114g in the whole carton!
I compared this with the bag of sugar in my cupboard, and the thought of me sitting here drinking a whole bag of sugar when I thought I was being healthy is making me feel sick.
Can anyone tell me of any other food or drinks that are high in sugar that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise?
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:27 PM   #2
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If it was definitely labelled "Juice" and when you check the ingredient list you do not see anything except "Juice" -- i.e., no sucrose, dextrose, HFCS, or other "ose" words -- then the sugar you are getting is natural fructose. This means that what you drank was definitely better for you than something labelled a " Fruit Drink" or a "Fruit Punch", both of which contain mostly sucrose and water with artificial flavourings and, perhaps, 10% 'real fruit juice'.

Most fruits and vegetables contain some natural sugars and that does not mean they are 'bad' foods. We really need the vitamins and minerals that come naturally packaged with those natural sugars. Unfortunately, pineapple and therefore pineapple juice is one of the higher calorie (and higher natural sugar) fruits.

Personally, I think you are much further ahead to eat the whole fruit rather than drink the juice. It takes about 4 to 6 oranges to give you one glass of orange juice, whereas one orange is probably going to feel just as refreshing and a lot more filling for a lot less calories and natural sugar. The fibre content in the fruit is what helps to make you feel full. For a lot of people (and I'm one of them) 'drinking' does not seem to satisfy the hunger cravings nearly as well as 'eating' does.

You need to read the 'contents' as well as the 'nutrition' panel to be really sure of what you are getting and to determine whether it is a good 'bang for your calorie buck'.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:33 PM   #3
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Personally, I avoid fruit juices, since they are full of (naturally occuring) sugars. I eat fruit, as it includes the fiber that you wouldn't get in the fruit. All fruits have natually occuring sugar. Berries have lower sugar and more fiber than most other fruits. Pineapples and bananas are on the higher end. All dried fruits have concentrated sugars, so if you are trying to limit your sugar, you would want to eat them sparingly.

Corn and beets are rather high in sugar also.

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Old 01-19-2007, 04:31 AM   #4
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Actually, pineapples are average in terms of calories as compared to other fruits (and quite a bit lower in calories than bananas):
  • Strawberries: 9 calories/oz (1.3g sugar)
  • Melon: 10 calories/oz (2.2g sugar)
  • Peach: 11 calories/oz (2.4g sugar)
  • Pineapple: 14 calories/oz (2.6g sugar)
  • Apple: 15 calories/oz (3g sugar)
  • Pear: 16 calories/oz (2.8g sugar)
  • Kiwi: 17 calories/oz (2.6g sugar)
  • Mango: 18 calories/oz (4.2g sugar)
  • Grapes: 19 calories/oz (4.6g sugar)
  • Persimmon: 20 calories/oz (3.6g sugar)
  • Banana: 25 calories/oz (3.5g sugar)

I don't drink beverages with calories though--no milk, no juice, no soda, no lemonade, etc. This is by far the easiest thing I do to control my weight since there are so many great no-calorie alternatives. The only exception is alcohol and I drink that pretty rarely (once or twice a month, at most). If I could find a calorie-free alcohol, I definitely switch to that. With juice, you are mainly just getting all the sugar and water from the fruit and none of the other nutrients that make the fruit filling and good for you.

But I definitely wouldn't avoid fruits and veggies because of the sugar content. Just make sure you work whatever you eat into your calorie plan (or whatever program you are following). Fruits and veggies are good for you and the sugar in them is not the same thing as the refined sugar sitting in your cabinet.

I spend more time comparing nutritional data in the grocery store now than I do comparing prices! Too bad the stores don't list the calorie/sugar/fat/protein content along with the price per unit on those little price tabs that they have on the shelf for every product.
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Old 01-19-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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thanks for finding that out guys! i'm definately going to buy the fruit instead next time, i suppose if i really wanted juice i could always squeeze it myself?
And next time I'm in the supermarket, I'm going to check the nutrional values instead of assuming its healthy and throwing it in the basket!
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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Always read labels before you buy

I don't drink juice either. Mainly because I don't like to drink my calories. I'd rather eat!

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Old 01-21-2007, 06:28 PM   #7
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I drink juice before I run, but I dilute it heavily, 4 oz of juice and 12 oz of water. But in that case I am looking for just a little fast energy before an am workout and it helps the body absorb the water a bit.

even if you squeeze your own juice its low in nutrient compared to just eating the fruit
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:59 PM   #8
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I've been avoiding juice too since I found out how much calories they contained, I'd rather spend that on foods that'll fill up my tummy! (and imagine in my college days when I shamelessly slurped away those fruit smoothies which is about 400 calories (and $4) a pop! Talk about an empty meal ) I definitely agree with eating whole fruits - yes there are sugars but also fiber and other nutrients as well. Generally, let your tongue guide you as to what fruits have more sugars (naturally, the sweeter tasting fruits will have more than the ones that are more tart/tangy/bitter)

One food item that caught me off guard on sugars are those cereal/breakfast bars, though in hindsight I shouldn't be surprised -- it's practically pure sugar syrup that's binding all those grains/fruits/nuts together!
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:01 PM   #9
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Well, this isn't fruit but I was shocked. I bought a container of Athenos roasted garlic hummus and after I finished it, I looked at the ingredients. (Hadn't looked in a long time.) One of the last ingredients was high fructose corn syrup!!!!! I don't understand why hummus would have to have hfcs in it. I guess it's back to making my own. That's what I get for being lazy!
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