The Sugar Dilemma
Processed food companies add alarming amounts of sugar and other additives to make foods taste better, yet consumers are simply unaware they are exceeding their recommended daily intake of sugar.
Nutrition labels aren’t clear on how much sugar is naturally derived from the food itself and how much is actually added sugar (e.g. high-fructose corn syrup). And many people don’t readily recognize the various sugar sources provided on the labels. According to SugarScience.org, added sugars hide in 74 percent of packaged foods under more than 60 different names.
How Much Is Too Much?
Four grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar. The liver can metabolize roughly six teaspoons (24 grams)of added sugar a day before converting excess sugar into body fat. On average, Americans consume about 20 teaspoons (80 grams) of added sugar a day!
The effects of high sugar intake are many: weight gain, belly fat, headaches, and fatigue are common. As large amounts of sugar and fructose overwork the organs, chronic conditions develop: obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes – a disease now on the rise in young children. The risk of certain cancers increases, as does the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. The relationship between insulin-resistance and brain cell death is so strong that researchers believe Alzheimer’s might possibly be a form of diabetes (Type 3 diabetes).
WFP’s Take-Home Advice
We recommended that you decrease your total sugar intake from all foods to less than 30 grams a day. If sodas and/or fruit juice are part of your diet, then these are the first things to eliminate – followed by all other processed, packaged sugars. This will allow you to keep under your daily sugar total with natural sugars from fruits and vegetables, along with the occasional dessert.
Sources and References:
Mercola, J. (2014, December 10) New Science Website Reveals the Truth About Sugar Articles.Mercola.com. Retrieved May 27, 2015
Hardick, B.J. (2013, December 15) Sugar and Your Brain: Is Alzheimer’s Disease Actually Type 3 Diabetes? Greenmedinfo.com. Retrieved May 27, 2015
SugarScience: The Unsweetened Truth Retrieved May 27, 2015
Hidden in Plain Sight. SugarScience.org Retrieved May 27, 2015