It’s true that one large banana has 17 grams of sugar and a Dunkin’ Donuts Glazed Donut has only 12 grams, but don’t stop the comparison there. The donut is loaded with added sugars, while the banana’s sugar is total sugar and all of that is natural fructose.
While the fruit’s natural sugar grams aren’t counted toward your daily sugar limit, that’s not true of the donut’s. Processing and preparation add sugars to the donut. The glazed goodie winds up with about 9 grams added sugar compared to the banana’s zero grams added sugar. The donut totals 260 calories while the banana provides 102 calories.
The donut’s calories are “empty” and don’t provide much nutrition, while the banana is crammed with fiber, potassium, vitamins and minerals. Eat the Dunkin’ donut and you’ve consumed 6 grams (30 percent) of your daily saturated fat recommendation and 330mg (or 15 percent) of the day’s sodium.
Take note of added sugar when you track your sugar intake. And if you have trouble limiting sugar, take a hint on three ways to break your sugar habit.
Read ingredient lists. You don’t need the added sugar—and you probably won’t even taste it—when manufacturers add in extra sweeteners to prepared products. Be aware that sugars may be listed as cane juice, sorghum, juice concentrate or sucanat. Be on the lookout for any ingredient that ends in “-ose” such as maltose or dextrose.
In the Dunkin’ Donuts’ ingredient list, dextrose is ranked third behind enriched, unbleached wheat flour and palm oil. Dextrose is a common sweetener found in baked goods. This simple sugar is derived from corn.
Keep an eye on your coffee habit. Your favorite cup of joe could make you taste foods as less sweet than they are. An August 2017 study gave people 200 mg of caffeine and a caffeine-free placebo to drink. The coffee drinkers tasted their caffeinated beverages dosed with sugar and later with sucrose as less sweet than the placebo.
Reduce stress. We all do it. We eat when we’re stressed. Eighty percent of people say they eat more sweets when they’re stressed. A recent study of stressed women may give a clue why we do this. A beverage sweetened with sugar reduced their hormone cortisol levels more than an artificially sweetened drink, and their stress went down.