Not-So-Sweet Chocolatey Goodness

By Kristina Mancino

Did you know the average American consumes up to 22 teaspoons of sugar a day? According to doctors, that’s way too much sugar to consume. Research finds that excess sugar can raise your risk of dying from heart disease by 38 percent. Not to mention all that glucose hanging out in your blood can promote diabetes and lead to obesity. Here’s how you can be more away of the sweet stuff.

Chocolate Lovers

We’ve all been hearing about chocolate is heart healthy and bursting with antioxidants but not all chocolate is created equally. The right chocolate can help counter some of the negative effects of all that sugar we were talking about before. Studies have shown “chocolate lovers” have a 12 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to those who didn’t indulge. Here’s a tip: the more cocoa the more antioxidants so choose darker!

White Chocolate*

17g of sugar, 20% cocoa

Milk Chocolate**

15g of sugar, 40% cocoa

70% Dark Chocolate*

12g of sugar, 70% cocoa

85% Dark Chocolate*

5g of sugar

99% Dark Chocolate*

1g of sugar, 99% cocoa

*Per 1.4-oz. serving

**Per 1.2-oz. serving

How Much Is Too Much?

A day, women should have 6 teaspoons (24 grams) and men should have 9 teaspoons (36 grams) says the American Heart Association.

Where Sugar Hides

Sugar in a candy bar may be a given but you may be surprised to find out places sugar may be. 

Booze Alcohol has no carbs but many mixers do. One drink a day for a women, two for a man, is linked to heart benefits – but anymore that the recommendation is harmful. 

A glass of Rose has 7 grams of sugar

White Carbs Things such as “white bread, white rice, and white pasta are broken down in your body like sugar,” says NYU Langone Medical Center cardiologist Nieca Goldberg. Opt for whole grains and steel-cut oats instead. 

Juice One glass of juice can have as much sugar as several pieces of fruit, but no fiber to slow absorption. Go for the whole fruit. 

12,500 – the number of steps per day needed to “cancel out” the ill effects of drinking two 20-ounce sodas.