The past decade’s focus on low-fat diet has led to an unintended consequence, an increase in sugar consumption. Many people are not aware of exactly how much sugar they are actually consuming. The sugar, processed food, and beverage industries do not admit the health hazards their products lead to. Industry-funded studies and independent research result in very different conclusions regarding the relationship between sugar and obesity. A new website, SugarScience.org, will provide objective data to consumers.
Added sugars are in 74% of processed food. The recommended daily limit for added sugar is nine teaspoons for men and six teaspoons for women. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon. If you are overweight, diabetic, or have high blood pressure, you should restrict your sugar intake to 15 grams per day. The average American consumes around 20 teaspoons of added sugar per day, with this excess intake feeding the obesity and chronic disease epidemics in our country. One can of regular soda contains 11 teaspoons of sugar, and a “healthy” fruit-flavored yogurt can contain almost 20 grams (or five teaspoons).
Processed food, which are full of sugar, trans fat, sodium, and other unnatural chemicals, takes much longer for the digestive tract to break down. Your body can only process so much sugar per day. Excess consumption leads to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, dementia, and cancer. People who consume more than 20% of their daily calories from sugar are twice as likely to die from heart disease, states a study in JAMA.
Food-based (naturally occurring) sugars are far less risky. To reduce your added sugar intake, switch to a diet of whole, raw, and unprocessed foods. Cut back on how much sugar you add to your food and drink. Other ways to cut back on sugar include using Stevia instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners, using fresh fruit for sweetness, and using spices to add flavor to meals rather than sugar. A healthy diet is high in good fats, low in sugar and non-vegetable carbohydrates, and contains a moderate amount of protein.
Mercola MD, Joseph. “New Science Website Reveals the Truth About Sugar.” Health. Mercola.com, 10 Dec 2014. Web. 14 Dec 2014.