From Chrissie Duffield-Bittner, RD
Added sugar is now on most nutrition labels, which makes our jobs as dietitians much easier. It is confusing for people to understand natural vs added sugar with the old labels.
Some names for added sugar:
Brown, agave, cane, caramel, carob, coconut, corn syrup, date, confectioners, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice, glucose, honey, maple syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, molasses, raw, rice, saccharose, sorghum syrup, sucrose, syrup, turbinado
Americans are eating about 3x more added sugar than recommended. Too much added sugar leads to obesity, diabetes, liver damage, and heart disease. Added sugar is in many items we don’t think of like: pasta sauce, bread, yogurt, cereals, granola bars, juices, flavored milks, etc. So how much added sugar is recommended, you ask? Great question!
DAILY ADDED SUGAR LIMITS
WOMEN:6 TSP (25G)
MEN: 9 TSP (38G)
CHILDREN: 3-6 TSP (12-25G)
1 sugar pack (1 tsp) = 4g sugars
(This can help you visualize how much your recommended amount is. )
So let’s think about in terms of food items:
1 can of cola= 39g added sugar (=9.75 packs of sugar)
1/2 cup chocolate ice cream= 16g (=4 packs of sugar)
Medium caramel macchiato= 33g (= 8.25 packs of sugar)
Fruit at the bottom Greek yogurt= 9 grams added sugar (=2.25 packs of sugar)
1/2 cup jarred tomato sauce= 4g added sugar (=1 pack of sugar)
1 cup raisin bran= 9g added sugar (=2.25 packs of sugar)
1 small granola bar= 7g added sugar (=1.75 packs of sugar)
Think about what ways you can trim back your added sugar intake. Maybe you get the plain latte with 1 pump of flavoring, make a fruit smoothie and add cocoa, plain Greek yogurt with fruit and drizzle honey, drinking seltzer instead of soda, crushing tomatoes with herbs for tomato sauce, or using plain bran flakes and adding your own unsweetened dried fruit or fresh fruit. Not saying you have to eliminate it all the way, that is not realistic. But small changes and making things at home can help you control the amount of added sugar you add, like these baked pears.
So why am I talking about sugar?? I am now going to share some vulnerable info that may help someone else out. Let me know if you have questions!
I had an appointment with my naturopathic doctor, Dr. Jen Phillips. The one who helped me figure out what was preventing me from having kids before. Lately, I have been having scalp psoriasis. My dermatologist never took a biopsy of my “psoriasis”, just diagnosed me with it. Postpartum it has been awful with it, along with hair loss (which is common postpartum).
Crazy enough this past week I started getting oral thrush, which is basically a yeast infection in my mouth— I know gross, just being real here. Babies are known to get it, glad that Bryce doesn’t have it. I was put on clotrimazole, thankfully helping within 2 days.
Dr. Jen eased my mind when she mentioned my scalp “psoriasis” may not actually be psoriasis and may be a fungal infection on the scalp. Why did this ease my mind since it sounds gross? Well because I would rather have a fungal infection vs an autoimmune disorder. And since I had both, likely that is what is going on. I stopped taking my probiotic a few months ago, so that may be one reason. I started to eat more plain Greek yogurt to get probiotics, which don’t provide as much as the supplement I was taking.
Another culprit is sugar! I don’t eat much added sugar other than a small vegan Alaura ice cream treat 1 times per week, dark chocolate (no more than 2 pieces a day), and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup in my plain Greek yogurt or oatmeal. These baked pears use honey put have less sugar than your typical dessert. Adding the plain Greek yogurt with the baked pears is the perfect combo of tangy and sweet but still feeling satisfied. You can control how much honey you add. If it is going to be a snack, maybe you chop the pear, add to plain yogurt, and drizzle a little honey for a lower sugar option.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Halve pears and spoon the seeds out, creating a hole in the pear, slice a piece off the round part to keep it flat while baking.
In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Drizzle over the pears.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
While baking, mix 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/2 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Add walnuts to baked pears, keep a little to top the end result for the end.
Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool a little.
Place baked pear with walnuts on top of yogurt, sprinkle extra walnuts, and drizzle of honey.
2 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup walnuts, lightly crushed
Additions: plain Greek yogurt, extra honey