My favorite Fiber One Nutty Clusters and Almonds breakfast cereal contains 12 grams of added sugar per serving. At 4 calories per gram, that’s 48 calories of added sugar — nearly half the recommended 100 calorie daily limit set by the American Heart Association.
“Added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health,” the association states on its website.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinology and obesity researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, has made it his life mission to educate consumers on the perils of eating too much sugar. In his New York Times best-selling book “Fat Chance,” he emphasized that a “calorie is not a calorie” when it comes to determining how much weight we gain partly because the body metabolizes high-sugar, low-fiber foods differently. Such foods trigger a rapid surge of the hormone insulin, which drives energy into fat cells and leaves us feeling hungry again an hour or two later.
Lustig’s new book “The Fat Chance Cookbook,” published last month, has some interesting suggestions for cutting sugar. Look for packaged breakfast cereals such as puffed barley, puffed whole wheat, and generic shredded wheat that have no added sugar. For a hot breakfast, Lustig recommends polenta or steel-cut oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon or mixed with fresh fruit as great options.Deborah Kotz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.