The holidays are traditionally a time when people loosen the reigns on their diets and indulge in a little more sweets. And, what’s the harm? No one is going to gain a pant size or develop a cavity because of the occasional bite into a gingerbread cookie.
However, you may be shocked to read just how much sugar is in your favorite holiday foods. Consider the sugar content in these holiday favorites:
- 1/8 slice of sweet potato casserole = 10.25 teaspoons
- 1 cup of eggnog = 9.5 teaspoons
- 1 candy cane = 2.75 teaspoons
- 2 Nestle Tollhouse gingerbread cookies = 1.75 teaspoons
- 16 oz. Starbucks hot chocolate = 10.75 teaspoons
- 1 medium-slice of fruit cake = 5 teaspoons
- 8 oz. Martinelli’s apple cider = 7.75 teaspoons
- 5 oz. glass of Riesling = 3.5 teaspoons
How much sugar is too much?
It’s important to note that many foods, like fruits and vegetables, have naturally occurring sugars. Modern American diets, however, include foods rich in added sugar. It’s these added sugars that nutritionist recommend avoiding. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that men limit their added sugar consumption to 9 teaspoons a day and women to 6 teaspoons.
I typically don’t place a limit on sugar consumption, but I do advocate low-sugar diets. This is because high-sugar diets pose a significant threat to your dental health and can contribute to enamel erosion, plaque, cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
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