5 Sneaky Secrets About Sugar That Aren't So Sweet
We’re all attracted to sugar in one way or another. Candy, soda, sweet cereal, ice cream, or whatever your sugar vice may be, we love it because it tastes so good! Our bodies like it because in it’s simplest form it gives us energy, but how much is too much? And which sugar is the right sugar? And why is everyone freaking out about it?!
Sugar has been hiding a few dirty secrets and you should hear them, because in this case, what you don’t know could hurt you.
We Consume About 3-4 Times More Added Sugar A Day Then We Should
The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons, or 355 calories, of added sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends that a women consume no more than 6 teaspoons a day and a man consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which is less than a 12 ounce can of soda. Glucose is the simple sugar naturally found in foods that gives us energy, but there are many added sugars that try to be like natural sugars and do a lot more harm then good. Things like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, maple syrup and many more are additives that you should look out for when reading your food labels.
What the heck does 40 grams of sugar really mean?
Braking down food labels can be difficult and confusing. When a label says 40 grams of sugar, there is an easier way to know what that means. Just remember that 4 grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon and 1 gram equals 4 calories. If something contains 40 grams of sugar, than you are consuming 10 teaspoons and 160 calories, which is already above the recommended daily amount.
Sugar additives can actually make you feel hungrier
Diets high in sugar additives, such as fructose, can lead to weight gain simply because they leave you feeling hungrier than you started. Fructose can actually turn off that that little voice in your brain that tells you when to stop eating. Getting sugar from natural fruits and veggies will give you the energy you need, leave you feeling satisfied and give you much needed fiber and antioxidants. In fact, if your body doesn't get enough glucose, it will take it from much needed proteins and can lead to muscle loss and malnutrition. Fruits mixed with a diet of lean proteins, veggies and whole grains is the best possible diet for a healthy body.
Sugar Sweetened Drinks Can Damage Your Liver Like Alcohol
Soda and sugary juice drinks taste so good, but are leaked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems. The high levels of high fructose corn syrup don't only leave you feeling hungry, but can even cause you to crave even more sugar. Adults who drink one or more soda each day are actually 27% more likely to be obese and these high sugar drinks can also lead to Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which can occur without weight gain. The liver can only process so much fat from sugar, so the rest is just stored and directly contributes to more belly fat. Soda and artificially flavored drinks are best to be avoided and replaced with 100% fresh squeezed juice, water, coffee or tea.
Added Sugar Isn’t Just In Typical Sugary Foods
It makes sense for sugar to be in desserts, but what about the foods we eat everyday that aren't supposed to be loaded with sugar? Added sugar is often lurking in other foods such as ketchup, tomato sauce, salad dressings and even bread. A good rule of thumb is to check the label of any food before you buy it and see how much sugar has been added.
Monica is a vegan, coffee and comics loving, non-toxic lifer who has her own cruelty-free body care company, Bare Bones Body Care. When she’s not advocating for public health, animals, or the environment, you will most likely catch her drinking coffee, playing basketball, or laughing uncontrollably.