In May 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an update to the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods and introduced a new section on the label for added sugars. Many foods contain naturally-occurring sugars but this label addition breaks down the amount and type of extra sugars that are included in processed foods.
Added sugars can appear in various forms including:
- Single sugars or monosaccharides such as fructose, galactose, or glucose (also called dextrose)
- Double sugars or disaccharides that contain two molecules of sugars such as lactose, maltose, or sucrose
- Sugars from syrups and honey such as cane invert syrup, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup
- Sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are “in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice of the same type”
More: Decoding Sugar Names
Sugars are often added to foods for flavor, to enhance texture, and preserve foods. You can find added sugars in an assortment of foods from frozen desserts to sweetened beverages. Although sugar can be broken down in the body into energy, a majority of Americans tend to consume sugar in excess. According to the FDA, the typical American eats up to 270 calories or 13% of total calories in added sugars per day. Many of these added sugars come from packaged desserts, drinks, and sweet treats that offer little to no nutritional value and can increase the risk of developing diseases. The federal dietary guidelines recommend that an individual consume a maximum of 10% of total calories from added sugars, or 150 calories if you were following a 1,500 calorie per day diet.
Here’s what we know about artificial sweeteners: they’re not good for you. The average American consumes 24 pounds of artificial sugar each year. Researchers have linked sweeteners — which have long been popular low-calorie substitutes for sugar — to diabetes and heart disease. Some studies have even associated them with weight gain. I’ve discussed how these sweeteners can harm your bladder and cause diarrhea. Still, misconceptions about artificial sweeteners still exist. I often hear from folks who believe they’ve found the “healthy” sweetener. The truth is, these sweeteners are unhealthy across the board. A closer look at what each consists of will help to highlight how your preferred sweetener might affect you.
This summer, my team and I conducted the largest study we’ve ever done on women’s health, asking women across the United States about the issues that affected them the most, touching on issues surrounding their health, relationships, and thoughts about the future. The story of women today is multifaceted and complicated but one of the main takeaways we learned is that strong social connections make a positive impact both in the short-term and in the long run.
In The Dr. Oz Show Health Report, an estimated 60 percent of survey respondents admitted to feeling lonely or isolated frequently. Scientific research has shown that loneliness and a lack of social interaction and community can be just as harmful to one’s health as smoking. One study even estimated that loneliness could cut your life expectancy by nearly eight years. To bring awareness to this important issue and to encourage you – my outspoken readers and viewers – we’re launching the #ConnectInRealLife social media campaign to spread the word about adult loneliness.
If you’re not already on The Regimen and planning out your weekly get-togethers with family and friends, it’s time to reach out to the people in your community who you care about and want to keep in touch with. Set aside time to catch up, try a new activity, exercise, or share a meal together and devote at least 10 minutes every day to improve both your health and the health of your family member or friend. It’s a win-win situation that will increase longevity and boost your happiness simultaneously. Snap a photo of you and your friends and share on social media. Post it on my Facebook page, on Twitter, or Instagram and hashtag it #ConnectInRealLife and soon, we’ll be building a happier, more involved community and inspire others to do the same.
Co-written by Erik Feingold, chief innovation officer of Sharecare
The presidential election is only two months away and the race continues to heat up. More than 80 million people watched Monday night’s debate, more than any debate in television history. While there has been significant analysis of what both candidates said, what it meant, and how accurate it was, there has been little discussion of the way they said it. »
Today The Dr. Oz Show was excited to host a conference on longevity sponsored by USANA Health Sciences. An amazing group of speakers shared their unique insights into how to live the longest and best quality life possible; including visionary Arianna Huffington, Olympian Alev Kelter, sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus, and chef Marcus Samuelson. Each of our guests shared tips from their own experiences to help all of us live our best lives. »
This week, I am excited to announce The Regimen, a seven-step checklist that guides you every day toward your healthiest self. It’s a comprehensive approach that’s based on the latest research in areas such as nutrition, mental health, and fitness. Including information from the best foods to eat to maintain a healthy gut to the most important activity to keep your brain young, The Regimen is designed for you now and in the future.
Congress came back from its summer break this week and once again, failed to pass funding for the fight against the Zika virus. The situation is getting more urgent, with mosquitoes on the U.S. mainland now carrying the disease. Florida has seen 56 infections from local mosquitoes and thousands have gotten Zika from traveling abroad. There have already been 16 infants born in the continental U.S. with Zika, a number that will only rise from here.
The debate over Zika funding has been raging since March, when the White House called for $1.9 billion to help fight the spread of the virus. Congress whittled that down to a $1.1 billion bill that’s gone nowhere due to a political stalemate. Republicans tacked a rider onto the bill that would block Puerto Rico’s Planned Parenthood from getting any of the funding to help stop sexual transmission of the virus, and Democrats won’t vote the bill through with this rider attached. Puerto Rico has been the hardest hit U.S. territory, with almost 14,000 cases so far.
With the current bill looking unlikely to pass, Congress has until the end of the month to figure out another way to fund the fight against Zika before it breaks for election season. In the meantime, the Zika crisis continues and the agencies’ funds are dwindling.
Public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, are currently running on fumes to fight the growing Zika crisis. The CDC has moved $38 million over from Ebola funding and $44 million from emergency response funds. Of the total $222 million the agency had allocated for Zika, it’s already spent $200 million of that, according to CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.
I spoke with Dr. Frieden today about the consequences if the CDC doesn’t receive the funding it urgently needs.
“If we don’t get the money we need from Congress it means we won’t be able to support state and local governments to test women and others for Zika virus,” he told me. “We won’t be able to learn more about the disease. We won’t be able to control mosquitoes more effectively.”
So far the CDC has been trying to track every pregnant woman with Zika, which it estimates is up to 584 in the U.S. states and 812 in the U.S. territories, with the majority in Puerto Rico.
CDC’s anti-Zika efforts aren’t the only programs that will suffer if Congress isn’t able to find money for the issue. The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will have to put efforts to develop a Zika vaccine on hold. The agency already has several promising candidates, including one that’s currently in Phase 1 of human trials. But if the agency doesn’t get funding by the end of September, it won’t be able to move on to Phase 2 of the trials, according to Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID.
Funding to fight Zika has broad support from the public, with a new survey from March of Dimes showing that 74 percent of Americans favor increased federal funding for research to prevent the spread of Zika. If you’re one of these people, don’t be afraid to let your representatives in Congress know that you support an urgent solution to Zika funding. I’ll be calling my representatives.
For more information on the virus and to find out who is at risk and how to protect yourself, visit the CDC’s Zika Virus page, which is updated daily.
As triple-digit heat gives way to chilly breezes and cooler temperatures, don’t dismiss the summer-specific tips we’ve been discussing about all season long. These tips are just as relevant in the fall and throughout the entire year and will guide you toward becoming your healthiest and best self.