Over the last 25 years, Americans have doubled their intake of sugar. The average adult exceeds the recommended sugar intake by 19 teaspoons a day. That equates to approximately thirteen 5-lb bags of excess sugar a year. Overweight individuals are not the only ones at risk of developing ongoing health issues. According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), healthy eaters are also consuming an overload of sugar and are at risk of developing health issues.
Sugar is added everywhere. Over 80% of food products on the market have added sugar and it’s in food items that you would least expect. Sugar is in peanut butter, bread, low-fat foods (so that they taste better), yogurt, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, protein powders and the list goes on.
Six reasons why to reduce your sugar intake
- The body can’t handle an excess of sugar so it turns it to fat. Just like too much of anything else in your diet…if you eat more than your body needs, the extra calories will turn be stored as fat.
- Overabundance of sugar in our bodies lead to overeating. Every time you eat, insulin is released to deal with the sugar. When too much sugar is consumed, insulin can’t keep up and becomes very inefficient at handling the sugar. High levels of insulin block the signals in your brain that indicates your full. This leads to excessive eating.
- Sugar is a toxin and one of the major causes of diabetes, heart problems, cancer and stroke. Unneeded insulin in our bloodstream takes a toll on our arteries.
- Sugar is tied to an increase of cholesterol levels even in healthy eaters. According to JAMA, an overload of sugar can cause your liver to eject more bad cholesterol to the bloodstream.
- Sugar is bad for our skin. Too much sugar in our system causes inflammation and inflammation breaks down our collagen and elastin, resulting in saggy skin.
- Sugar is addictive. Sugar releases chemicals that set off the brain’s pleasure center. After time, your body will develop a tolerance to the sugar, so you will need more and more sugar to get your fix.
A few facts to know
- In processed foods, low-fat equates to more sugar and often this means double the sugar of full fat items.
- Even artificial sugar tricks our brain into thinking sugar is on its way. Insulin is still released, causing an unneeded release of insulin.
- Natural sugar from fruit (not fruit juice) is healthy for you, because fruit has fiber and fiber mitigates the sugar. Many fruits, especially berries have very good anti-inflammatory properties.
- A can of soda or a bottle of Gatorade exceeds your daily allowance of sugar. A 12-oz can of soda has a whopping 39g of sugar and a bottle of Gatorade has 35g.
- The key is to use real sugar, such as maple syrup, honey, or dates to sweetened your oatmeal and treats.
To learn more about cutting back on sugar, contact us.