Is sugar one of the first few ingredients in your favorite beverage? Many beverages contain more sugar than most New York City individuals realize. For example, many fruit juices contain as much sugar as sugar-sweetened beverages. In fact, consuming higher numbers of servings of fruit juices is associated with an increase in death for older U.S. adults, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.
The study found that for each additional 12-oz serving of sugar-sweetened beverage consumed there was an 11 percent higher risk of death. For fruit juice, each additional 12-oz serving consumed was connected to a 24 percent higher risk of death. The bottom line is that consuming more sugary beverages, including fruit juice, increases the risk of death.
Unfortunately, it’s not just fruit juices that contribute to the overall amount of sugar taken in. Beverages consumed often contribute 47 percent of added sugars to Americans’ diets; soft drinks represent 25 percent; fruit drinks 11 percent; coffee and tea seven percent; and sports or energy drinks three percent.
And that is just the sugar in beverages. Sugar can be found everywhere as there are at least 61 different names for sugar including: high-fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, brown sugar, fruit juice concentrates, invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses and sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose).
With so many different names to keep track of, it’s no wonder that the average American consumes so much sugar. While too much of all types of sugar is unhealthy, it’s important to know the difference between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is in foods such as fruits and vegetables. Even though these foods contain naturally occurring sugar, they also contain water, fiber, vitamin and minerals.
100 percent fruit juice, on the other hand, is missing the fiber that usually accompanies fresh fruit and slows down sugar absorption. For example, it takes the body longer to digest an apple because of the fiber content which then causes the natural sugar to be absorbed into the body more slowly.
Current research suggests that 77 percent of Americans are trying to decrease the amount of sugar in their diets. Avoiding fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages is one way to accomplish that. New York City employers can help promote healthier choices and help their employees by offering better-for-you beverages in the break room.
The key is to offer a variety of options on the beverage menu from traditional plain or filtered water to naturally flavored sparkling water. With a larger selection of options, employees are less likely to become bored and choose a beverage with a lot of sugar. Offering healthy snacks is another way to encourage healthier eating habits.
Healthy Vending would like to help stock your New York City break room or school lunchroom with vending machines full of a variety of delicious, all-natural and healthy snacks and beverages. For more information, please call us at 917.572.3671.