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At My Boulder Dinner: How Much Sugar Is In That Dinner Roll?

Many Boulderites know to avoid white sugar. Many know to avoid white flower. Many of us know that white flower, when eaten in bread for example, is metabolized, converted into simple sugar. But how much sugar do we get from a dinner roll? And how much can we eat? You won’t like the answer.

Let’s delve into a more detailed breakdown. If we take a standard white dinner roll as our example, which on average contains about 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, we can estimate how much sugar (glucose) it converts into upon digestion.

Here’s an illustration of a glucose molecule, showing its atomic structure with atoms represented in different colors: carbon atoms in black, hydrogen atoms in white, and oxygen atoms in red. The molecular bonds connecting these atoms are depicted as well, providing a clear view of how a single glucose molecule is structured.

The carbohydrates in a roll are primarily in the for starches, which are complex carbohydrates. These starches are broken down by digestive enzymes into simpler sugars, mainly glucose, which is then absorbed by the body.

“I think I’ll Just Have The Blueberries.”  To convert the grams of carbohydrates into teaspoons of sugar for easier visualization, we’ll use the fact that 1 teaspoon of sugar is approximately equal to 4 grams of sugar.

Let’s calculate the lower and upper range (15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates) to see how many teaspoons of sugar a standard white dinner roll might equate to after digestion.

A standard white dinner roll, containing between 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, converts to approximately 3.75 to 5 teaspoons of sugar in your body after digestion. This range gives a visual sense of how the carbohydrates in the roll are broken down into simpler sugars that your body can use for energy.

Starch and Carbohydrates Into Simple Glucose

The daily recommended limit for added sugars varies by health organization, age, sex, and level of physical activity, but the guidelines generally emphasize limiting added sugar intake for better health.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following limits for added sugars:

– For men: No more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) of added sugar per day.
– For women: No more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day.

It’s important to note that these recommendations specifically refer to added sugars, which are sugars and syrups put into foods during preparation, processing, or at the table, not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and some dairy products.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends reducing the intake of free sugars (both added sugars and naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentrates) to less than 10% of total energy intake, and suggests a further reduction to below 5% of total energy intake for additional health benefits.

Considering the average calorie intake, 5% of total energy intake roughly translates to about 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult. These guidelines are aimed at reducing the risk of noncommunicable diseases in adults and children, with a particular focus on preventing and controlling unhealthy weight gain and dental caries.

Lenny Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!


Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
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