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Stopping the Sugar Train

Touch the Soil News #392

After years of delay, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized new regulations on food nutrition labels. New are the requirements of having to list all added sugars to include the amount in grams and the percent daily value.

This will be a big deal for food companies who now will have to identify the added sugars in their food. It is not unusual for sugary drinks to contain several times the daily allotted amount.

The original Starbucks logo dates back to 1971 when the chain first opened. Starbucks is the second largest restaurant in the United States behind McDonalds. It is king of sugary coffee drinks.

Some experts warn that no more than ten percent of your daily caloric intake should be from added sugar or around 12 teaspoons a day. Americans on average consume 30 teaspoons a day. The rationale is that without fiber, sugar can overwhelm your system leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.

The UK nonprofit Action on Sugar found that 98 percent of the 131 hot flavored drinks found at coffee and juice restaurants should carry a “red” warning for excessive levels of sugar if the coffee shops were required to label them. Starbucks’s Hot Mulled Fruit (grape with chai, orange and cinnamon venti) is the worst offender at 25 teaspoons of sugar.

Unfortunately, the wheels of progress go slow. The new sugar-added sections on food labels will not be required until July of 2018. So, without accurate labels for two more years to come – just eating less may be the first call to action.

Following is a reality video about three young people who gave up sugar for 30 days:

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