Yogi diet: Do you know where your sugar is hiding?

This past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a five-year study of American eating habits that found that most “added sugar” in the U.S. diet comes from food, not beverages, and that most of that hidden sugar got eaten at home — not out on the town.

In other words: We (Americans, anyway) aren’t eating all that healthy at home when we think we might be, and colas, sports drinks, etc. aren’t necessarily the big boogieman we think. (That said, they are terrible.)

Here’s a link to the study.

Via experiencewholefoods.wordpress.com

Government diet guidelines — which probably are a lot “looser” than many yoga practitioners follow — suggest limiting “discretionary” calories to between 5% to 15% of total consumption.

I bet you won’t be surprised to find that typically Americans are at the high end of that, about 13%. Maybe it is surprising we aren’t way above it. “Added sugar,” by the way, is defined as including “all sugars used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods such as breads, cakes, soft drinks, jams, chocolates, and ice cream, and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table.”

The study breaks down differences in “added sugar” consumption across a variety of demographics. The one I think is perhaps most relevant to yoga in the West is this one: the highest income men and women both consumed the least amount of “added sugar.” I tend to think of them as being the most likely to practice yoga.

So what can we take from this? Well, one of our hobby horses: the evils of processed foods. Have you looked lately at what’s in what you eat? Even in stuff you buy that claims to be healthy? Well before we went raw, and certainly before we cut out wheat (as the occasional “fall of the wagon” food), we had limited our sugar intake a lot. We were surprised, years back, to discover how much sugar is in something like jarred pasta sauce. Or peanut butter. Or that “nature bar.” Foods you don’t think of as “sweet” often have sugar in them. (Or salt. Or fat.)

It’s sort of how big food companies have been successful.

Thus I think “hidden sugar” might be a fair way to described “added sugar.”

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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