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Natural Sugars
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Livimae posted:
I recently started this new diet--which to me is eating healthy and living healthy.In part of this diet, I restricted my sugar intake to 20 grams a day. In the past i have had a strong sweet tooth. I LOVE icecream, cookies, pastries, etc. But now i have started eating much healthier, replacing my sweets with fruits. (No prob! i love fruits) But i am having trouble staying under 20 grams of sugar. i usually exceed it by 20 -30 grams. (!!!) I am wondering if this is bad (???), i do notice the sugar is from healthy food that i am eating. I have tried to think of alternatives that would lower the intake of sugar but not having much luck. Maybe 20 grams of sugar isnt enough?
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EricE_MA responded:
The limits recommended for sugar by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans among other dietary guidelies are for "added sugars" not "intrinsic sugars." The 12 g of lactose sugar per cup of milk and sugar in fruit is not "added" sugar, but an intrinsic part of a diet which includes these nutrient rich foods.
 
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Elaine Magee, MPH, RD responded:
GREAT DISCUSSION!
I think if a guideline makes you obsessive or puts you in a restrictive frame of mind, it can cause more harm than good. 20 grams of sugar seems pretty low to me and there may be days when you have a little more than that just by having some Greek yogurt with a little honey and some granola or whole grain cereal with a little sweetener.

I mostly encourage people to limit drinking empty calories (calories with no nutrient value) from soda and sweetened drinks. Milk, soy milk (and fruit juice in moderation) aren't in that group because they contribute nutrients such as protein, fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.


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