Is Sugar Making Your Diet a Sweet Mess?
Sugar is found nearly everywhere, and we are eating waaaay too much of it.
Did you know that sugar is in 75% of packaged foods?
The average American consumes anywhere from a quarter to a half pound per day.
Consuming too much of it can lead to the development of debilitating and deadly disorders and diseases.
And, to add insult to injury – sugar can be highly addictive (Think that’s hyperbole? Read this.)
Sneaky and seductive, the sweet stuff has found its way into unexpected foods (and I use the word food here loosely), and we mostly have the no-fat/low-fat diet craze to thank for that.
According to a recent study published in the BMJ, “ultra-processed” foods make up more than half of all calories consumed in the US and almost all of our added sugar intake.
Sugar-filled drinks are the worst culprits
And – forgive me for being the bearer of worse-and-worse news, but…the primary source of this added sugar intake – sugary drinks – is particularly insidious, because the method of consumption is rapid. It’s easy to gulp down a few sugary drinks every day without thinking much about it.
ONE can of soda contains almost 8 teaspoons of sugar. Cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and orange juice contain 48 to 63 grams of sugar per 12 ounces…which is 9.6 to 12.6 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Identifying added sugar on food labels is no easy feat, either: there are at least 60 names for the sweet substance.
Being a healthy weight doesn’t mean that it’s okay to consume excess sugar, either.
Oh, and by the way…think consuming a lot of sugar isn’t harmful if you aren’t overweight?
Not so fast: data from the Framingham Heart Study (a long-running, highly respected research project) found a direct correlation between greater sweetened beverage consumption and increased visceral fat – a particularly dangerous type of body fat that wraps around your internal organs and can wreak havoc on your health.
Diets high in sugar have been linked to the development of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, deficiencies in cognitive health, and cell aging.
As you can see, monitoring (and reducing, if necessary) your intake is probably a good idea if you’d like to reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
In addition to reducing your risk of developing serious, chronic health issues, kicking added sugars out of your diet may lead to the following:
- Better sleep
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Increased focus
- Improved mood
And who wouldn’t want that?
Learn more about just how dangerous sugar is: What You Don’t Know About Sugar Can Kill You
Explore how to kick added sugars out of your life (it isn’t as hard as you think): Incredible Things Can Happen When You Give Up Sugar. Here’s How to Do It.