Track Sugar, Then Reduce

By Jarrett Retz -August 2nd, 2018

This experiment exposed how bad I am at actually doing experiments or at setting up self tracking. Measuring myself seems to be difficult, and using such a short window to measure food intake left way too much room for conscious (and probably unconscious) bias.

Buy hey, it is what it is.

One of the secondary items that ended up on my goals sheet for The 25th Year was sugar tracking.

This wasn’t because I had a poor diet, but being reminded of how much sugar I actually can consume (compared to how much I think I consume) can be an enlightening task.

At the end of June I decided I was going to track my sugar for the next two weeks. I found an app that would allow for this, and it actually offered even more than I was looking for, but it took care of the sugar part which was great. The app was called Fooducate, and it had free features as well as premium features.

It allowed me to add generic grocery foods through search, barcode, or to look up user added examples.

The journal I kept was pretty simple. It just included total sugars and added sugars. The added sugars were not in addition to the total sugars but I did enjoy seeking a bit of a breakdown.

The sugar, to your body, will react the same way but in choosing what to eat I think the distinction is important. A large fiji apple, on the app, has 23g of sugar and a Snickers bar has 30g of sugar. The apple has a ton of sugar in it, but it feels different than the Snickers bar.

Anyway, if you look at the sugar journal and see the ‘+sugar amount’ is it the breakdown and shouldn’t be read like an equation adding the two sugar quantities.

The breakdown for the two weeks is as listed;

Week 1

Total Sugars - 772g

(Added - 338g)

Avg. per day - approx 110g

Week 2

Total Sugars - 436g

(Added - 99g)

Avg. per day - approx 62g

One thing that surprised me when I used the app was how many more sugars were in heavier IPA beers compared to light beers. Not because this isn’t intuitive, but because the details were hazy. I already mentioned the apple (23g) and when I combine that with a banana (16g) it covers a large portion of my daily sugar (there are many days when I will have both).

Something else that surprised me was how easy it was to inflate the sugar total. It doesn’t require that much time or money to totally lose control of my sugar for a day.

Another interesting note was that my larger sugar days were also days where I hung out with other friends for special occasions.

It definitely wasn’t the wildest or hardest thing I did this year, or still have to do, but it was a nice secondary goal.

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