Pregnancy and Sugar
How bad is sugar? In moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet.Apply the Brakes on Sugar
How bad is sugar? In moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet. Sugar belongs to the carbohydrate group, which also includes starches and fibers. Natural sugars are found in fruit (in the form of fructose) and milk (as lactose). Sugar becomes a dietary culprit when it is added to other foods (usually processed items). Major sources of added sugar are those found in soft drinks, candy, pastries, cookies, ice cream, and other sweets. Although the body does not know the difference between sugar and complex carbohydrates, most sugars are referred to as "empty calories" because they provide calories but very little or no nutritional value. Satisfy your sweet tooth, but do it in moderation.
How Much Is Too Much?
The typical American diet is packed with too much sugar, and nutrition experts agree that Americans need to cut back. The idea behind a healthy pregnancy diet is to eat foods that really count toward your nutritional intake. Eating too many sugary foods means lots of extra calories and very little nutrition. Eating too many of these foods also tends to bump out the more nutritious foods that you should be choosing. Foods with lots of added sugar should only be occasional treats, not regular snacks.
Though there is no established recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sugar, you should concentrate of getting the bulk of your carbohydrates from complex sources-such as breads, rice, and pasta-and most of your simple carbohydrates from fruits and dairy products, which also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Sweet, Sweet Food Labels
The FDA requires sugar content to be included on all nutrition facts panels. The panel lists total carbohydrates and sugar in terms of grams per serving. Sugar is part of the total carbohydrate amount that is listed. If you purchase a food with added sugar, make sure it also provides plenty of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and fiber.
When checking the ingredient labels on packaged food, you will find all types of sweeteners listed. The suffix "-ose" (fructose, sucrose, lactose) indicates that an ingredient is a form of sugar. Look for these other ingredients that indicate added sugar: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, molasses, and raw sugar.
If you see a nutritional claim with the word "sugar" on the front of a packaged label, it is important to understand what that claim means.