'Sugar in Your Diet'

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Are you a "sugar-o-holic" or a choc-o-holic? Do you often crave something sweet? When you eat that one piece of chocolate does your body just beg for another piece until all are gone? Lots of us have these symptoms and problems, and we must learn to control our cravings for sweet. Added sugar is probably the single worst ingredient in your diet.

How much added sugar should you consume daily? About 12 teaspoons which is ¼ cup, and that is how much you need daily. How much sugar do you add to your cereal, your tea or coffee daily? Both adults and children should keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of their daily calories. Added sugars provides calories with no added nutrients.

There is a distinction between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods. All fruit is great for you in moderation, just like any other food. Check out all labels on the foods you purchase for the ingredients and calories content. Anytime you see the term "sucrose" on a label it is simply the chemical name for sugar, the simple carbohydrate we know and love that is produced naturally in all plants, including fruits, vegetables and even nuts. Anytime you see carbohydrates on a label, it is eventually broken down into sugar.

Other foods we consume that have lots of added sugars include low fat yogurt, barbecue sauces, ketchup, fruit juice, spaghetti sauce, sports drinks, ice cream, cookies, cakes, chocolate milk and granola. Natural fruits with the highest sugar content include grapes, mango, cherries, pomegranate and bananas. Vegetables with high sugar content include sweet potatoes, beets, onions, green peas, sweet corn, canned pumpkin, winter squash, carrots and tomatoes.

Fruits with the lowest sugar content include lemons, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, grapefruit, and watermelon. Vegetables low in sugar include mushrooms, any of the green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, beet greens, kale, turnip greens, arugula, swiss chard, cucumbers, soybean sprouts, celery and broccoli. Cauliflower, radishes, and asparagus are also low in sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables will probably have no labels but remember green vegetables will always be low in sugars and calories.

Sugar goes by many names including corn syrup, molasses, honey, high-fructose, corn syrup, malt sugar and dextrose. Added sugar is what we add to foods or beverages, either in processing or in preparation, to give it a sweet taste.

Recommendations about sugar consumption doesn't include foods with naturally occurring sugars because those foods contain other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. For a healthy diet, select fewer processed foods, and especially during the summer months when you can buy fresh produce at the Farmers Market. Purchase more whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and experiment with new recipes. Do away with the candy bowl and cookies at work and home and fill it was fruits and vegetables low in sugar. If you need recipes, just contact the Extension Office.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Don't forget to visit our local Farmers Markets. They are ready to serve you Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday's at the Lake Cumberland Farmers Market, and Wednesday and Saturday's at the Somerset Farmers Market. You will find lots of fresh produce picked today.

Baked Broccoli Frittata

1 cup broccoli florets

1 tomato, diced

1 small bell pepper, diced

2 green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

¼ cup mustard

2 tablespoons water

¼ cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

1/ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the broccoli florets, diced tomato, bell pepper, and green onions in a bowl; spoon the olive oil over the vegetables and mix; place vegetables in a 9 by 13 baking dish or pan. Roast the vegetables in the oven until crisp and tender, about 10 minutes. While baking, combine eggs, mustard, water, milk, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Whisk together until frothy. Add ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the roasted vegetables. Stir gently with a fork to combine. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. Return to the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set and cheese is browned on top. Serve while hot. Will yield 8 servings.

If you have failed to fill out the 2020 Census card, this is something you should do. It takes about 10 minutes. Federal programs that use census data are wide ranging and include Head Start, the school lunch program, funding for healthcare such as Medicaid, and state children's health insurance. You can go online to fill out the form, or local census takers will be visiting homes nationwide to reach those who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. Go to http://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html for more information.

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