Next Gen in Nutrition Compiled by the Body Reboot Experts at Evolv Health.
Just a Spoonful of Sugar…Makes the Medicine Go Down, right?
So what’s the problem?
The problem is we don’t stop with a spoonful. In fact, we’re downing sugar in record amounts wreaking havoc on our weight, blood sugar levels and organs while providing a big, whopping NOTHING in nutrition.
So what’s this record amount of sugar we’re downing?
On average, according to the American Heart Association, Americans are adding 22.2 teaspoons of sugar each day. That’s an added 355 calories or 88.7 grams of added sugar each day. The AHA recommends we limit our intake of sugar to half of our discretionary calorie allowance.
So what are we talking about here to right this wrong?
On average, most women need about 1,800 calories a day and most men need about 2,200. So if we look at average discretionary calorie allowances, that means for most American women the recommendation is to limit added sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons a day or 100 calories a day and for most American men to limit added sugar intake to no more than 9 teaspoons a day or 150 calories a day. The World Health Organization has a bit more flexibility in that it recommends no more than 10% of your total calories should come from added sugars.
When you look back at that 22.2 teaspoons current average intake, that means the average American woman is currently adding almost 4 times the recommended intake limit and the average American man is adding 2.5 times the recommended intake limit.
No wonder obesity is at record highs.
3 Sugar-Busting Tips
1. Know how to read labels.
To discover how much sugar is in a packaged food, you have to sleuth your way through it. On the label called “Nutrition Facts,” the line for sugars includes both the natural and added types as total grams of sugar.
First, do a little math. Since there are four calories in one gram, if a product has 20 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 80 calories per serving just from the sugar alone.
Next, check out the ingredient list to find the added sugars. There are many names for sugar, so look for maltose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey or fruit juice concentrates. The higher up any of these substitute names are on the ingredient list, the more sugar is in the product.
2. Pass on soft drinks and conventionally prepared fruit juice
Studies show that soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened drinks are the primary source of added sugars in our diets. With about 8 teaspoons of added sugar, a regular 12-ounce soft drink will put most women over the recommended daily limit.
Conventionally prepared fruit juice often tops THAT with more grams of sugar per serving than that 12-ounce soft drink. Keeping in mind that drinking that prepared fruit juice is often no better for you than a can of pop, may help you keep your calorie consumption from added sugar in line with your health goals.
3. Remember the recommended sugar intake limit
Since the AHA recommends a limit of 6 teaspoons for the average American woman per day (or 100 calories intake limit that means no more than 25 grams of sugar per day). For men, the recommendation is a limit of 9 teaspoons or 150 calories per day in added sugar translating into around a 37-gram limit per day.
A guideline simply helps keep a goal in line. So here’s to sugar intake guidelines and the sweet life of good health!