As usual I’m behind again, letting over a month pass since my last entry! There’s a lot going on, and in an attempt to have some degree of balance in my life, this was put on the list of things that could wait.
My younger son is graduating from high school soon, and we’ve been having some final things lately. Final stage production for drama, final chorus concert, final voice recital coming up. It’s been my privilege to share almost every day of the last 21 years of my life with two bright, talented, funny, handsome and loveable young men, and the second of the two is getting ready to move on to a new and exciting stage of his life. It’s all excitement and brave new world for him, and of course I am happy for him and immensely proud of him, but it’s somewhat bittersweet for me. I’ll be happy to see a couple of the changes – no more waking up to make breakfast at 5:15 am for example – but sad to see others. Ah well, it’s about time I stopped waking up at the crack of dawn with my kids! Both will be off to school before the end of the summer (my oldest is a rising college senior) and I will be figuring out what I want to do with my mornings.
Last time I was here, I was thinking of sugar. I did chart my added sugars over the course of several days, and I discovered a couple of things. Overall, I do reasonably well. And it doesn’t take much at all to blow past the newest suggested lower limit for the day.
In my last post, I mentioned a recommendation for sugar consumption of 15% of total daily calories. This was the 2010 US government guideline for “calories from solid fats and added sugars”. (pg 28) I can’t ACTUALLY find a specific reference to added sugar alone in the 2010 Guidelines. I thought that deserved clarification.
It turns out that as of March, 2014, there is a new (draft) World Health Organization recommendation. They say that adults should set an upper limit of 10% of daily calories from sugar (50 grams/12 teaspoons), but 5% of total calories (25 grams/6 teaspoons) of added sugar would be better.
If I give in to a VERY small serving of Chunky Monkey, I’m over that lower limit for the day. In fact, ½ cup of the heavenly stuff packs 28 grams of sugar! That leaves no room for a little sugar in my morning coffee. I hear the message that we need to cut sugar for better health, but when a single, small dessert is over the recommended limit, I wonder how many people will be successful? I know that even with my (reasonably) healthy diet, I don’t hit that mark every day.
I might be able to manage 10% on a pretty regular basis, but 5% is a serious challenge. Unfortunately I can’t see the US government getting a published recommendation of 5% past the sugar lobby, since they don’t seem to be able to do what’s right in the face of money and opposition from any food industry lobby. I’ll be curious to see what happens, and will continue to monitor my own progress.
What else is going on? Local produce is coming in – the fresh strawberries are fantastic so far this year. I know these aren’t very low-carbon-footprint, but I adore Champagne mangoes (18 grams of sugar each) which are plentiful in the stores, and breakfast has been a fruit and Greek yogurt smoothie (with no added sugar but plenty in the fruit) almost every day for the last three weeks. I’ll post a recipe when I get a chance. It’s different every day, but I’ll try to get some measurements and write it down. It’s a wonderful time of year to increase the plate space given over to locally grown fresh veg and fruit!