Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sugar, Sugar... Blah Blah Blah! 

The documentary, That Sugar Film sheds light on how much hidden sugar we all consume on a daily basis. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration proposes no more than 10% of our daily calorie intake should be sugar, which is about 12 teaspoons for a 2,000 calorie per day diet, or 9 teaspoons for a 1500 calorie per day diet. The World Health Organization suggests no more than 5% of our daily calorie intake should be sugar which is 6 teaspoons for a 2,000 calorie per day diet and 4.5 teaspoons per day for a 1500 calorie per day diet. It is quite easy to consume your daily intake in just one snack and certainly in one meal!

Part of the problem is that our food labels list amounts of sugar, fats, proteins, fiber and carbohydrates in grams which is hard for most of us to relate to. If you want to be more aware of how much sugar you are really eating simply divide grams by 4 to get the amount in teaspoons (4.2 to be precise). For instance, if a label lists 25 grams of sugar it would mean you consumed 6.25 teaspoons of sugar in that serving. This simple conversion also works for fats. 

Hopefully, you will find this conversion helpful in really knowing how much sugar you are consuming on a daily basis. It is estimated that the average American consumes 30, or more, teaspoons of sugar per day. Much of this sugar overload is consumed in foods that we think of as healthy like low fat yogurt, granola bars, cereal, and fruit juices. 

Why is the overload of sugar in our diets bad for us? Excessive sugar intake can lead to many of the health problems prevalent in our society today: type 2 diabetes, obesity, dental decay, high cholesterol levels, fatty liver disease, and ultimately heart disease. It is wise to limit your daily intake of sugar to help prevent these diseases!