For many of us, a year spent eating at home has altered our diets; some for the better (cooking at home means less greasy takeout) and some for the worse (how many slices of banana bread in one day is too many)?
What started with just a little extra sugar—sweetening your typically black coffee with a tiny teaspoon—quickly snowballed into shattering your no-dessert-on-weekdays rule. Now you’re baking cakes to celebrate literally any celebration or victory: your dog’s birthday, perhaps, or figuring out how to login to your child’s remote school platform.
But while sugar is fine in moderation, there’s good reason to keep an eye on your intake of “added sugar” especially. On nutrition labels, it connotes the type that’s added to foods during the production process, as opposed to naturally-occurring sugars like the ones in fruit and some vegetables (fructose) or milk (lactose).
“It’s not that little bits of added sugar are bad for anyone, [and]we’re not talking about when it’s your birthday, and you eat a lot of added sugar on one day,” says Colleen Webb, a registered dietitian and nutritionist who specializes in digestive health.