Alice Marson BS MS
Would you be shocked if you were told that you were consuming more than 10 times the amount of sugar daily than is recommended by the American Heart Association? That would be 250g or over a cup (8oz) of sugar, or 130 pounds of added sugar a year.
You may be-just maybe, taking in more sugar than you realize or want to.
Sugar offers no nutrients, such as protein, healthy fats, or enzymes, just empty and quickly digested calories that actually pull minerals from the body during digestion.
Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Nutrition says, “White refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical, extracted from plant sources, purer, in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways.”
Troyen Brennan, CVS Drugstore Chief Medical Officer, who announced in February 2014 that CVS is removing tobacco products from their shelves in October 2014. There is speculation that sugary beverages should be next.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the most dramatic findings yet linking high sugar consumption to heart disease. The WHO (World Health Organization) and the American Heart Association recommend that less than 10 percent of a person’s daily calories should come from the added sugars found in processed foods, snacks, and beverages, but 71 percent of Americans exceed that figure. “ The Average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day,” says lead author, Quanhe Yang, of the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
Sugar-sweetened beverages comprise 37 percent of American adult added sugar intake. Next at 14 percent were cereals, cookies, cake and candies.
The weekly ads of many groceries and drugstores are dominated by soda, sugary cereals and products, and candy. Close by in the pharmacy are products for diabetes and obesity. What a paradox!!!!!!!!
The leading experts about health issues plaguing Americans are saying our overconsumption of sugar is contributing to a tsunami-sized national health crisis. Not only the diabetes and obesity crises, but also research fingers sugar-overload in the development of high LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation, cancer, and early onset Alzheimer’s.
The safe zone for sugar is 25g (about 1 oz.) of added sugar daily. Sugar masquerades on labels, in addition to high fructose corn syrup, as barley malt, sucrose, dextrose, carob syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, lactose, maltose, rice bran and sorghum syrups. Manufacturers use these sweeteners to enhance flavor instead of fat. Even your supposedly healthy and organic cereals and foods can have these added sugars. You must read the Nutrition Facts and ingredients’ labels to see the added sugars. For people who are trying to shed pounds or dodge sugars this is a must.
Cereals are not the only foods with added sugars. Soda and sweetened ice tea can have 36-39g of sugar. Others are ketchup, low-fat salad dressings, fat-free foods, mayonnaise, peanut butter, yoghurt, canned vegetables and soup, pasta sauce, coleslaw, bread, salt, and enhanced water. Check your box of salt-it will probably contain dextrose.
The really good news is that you don’t have to go overboard. Once you become sugar smart and know where the sugar is hiding in your diet, you can make smarter choices. You can decide when and where you want to eat sugary foods and what kinds of sugar are acceptable to you.
So, check labels and ingredients for the added sugars. Take a close look at your diet and kick out the hidden sugars so that you can stay in the safe zone of about 25g (about 1 oz.) or about 12 teaspoons a day.
So, currently, you need to right-size the sugar in your diet. You will be amazed at the results; your health, energy, and your waistline will thank you.
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Akron Beacon Journal (02/14/14) article by Derrick Z. Jackson of Boston Globe- Next, Pull Sugar-laden Drinks from the Shelves