Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup
What’s All the Fuss About?

by Mary Franz, MS, RD, LD

• The USDA estimates that a whopping 36% of added sugars consumed by Americans comes from soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks. If you drink regular (not diet) sweetened beverages, scale back or eliminate them from your diet to cut down on added sugar.

• Check ingredients lists on product packages for added sugars, including sucrose, dextrose, maltose, xylose, invert sugar, honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, maltodextrin, turbinado sugar, malt syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar — and, of course, high-fructose corn syrup. If the product contains more than two or three types of sugar, it likely contains a lot of added sugar, and you may want to consider putting it back on the shelf.

• Buy 100% fruit juice instead of fruit drinks with added sweeteners. But still keep your portions small: Depending on what kind of fruit it contains, one cup of 100% fruit juice provides 100–200 calories and 20–45 grams of carbohydrate.

• Cut the amount of sugar you use in baking and cooking. You can often cut the sugar in recipes by one-quarter to one-third with no loss of quality in the end product.

• Skip or share dessert more often. About 13% of added sugars in the American diet comes from pies, cookies, and cakes.

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