Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sugar: How Much Are You Eating?



Today I am beginning my series on sugar. As many of you know I am living my year without it because I am a sugar addict. I am by no means a nutritionist or an expert but I do believe that knowledge is power so I've been doing some studying and research. I will be sharing with you some of the things I have learned and found helpful.


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“Refined sugar acts more like a drug that our bodies need to detoxify rather than a nutrient-supplying food. It has no nutrients and therefore we are consuming lots of calories but our bodies are being deprived of the nutrients needed to keep our bodies functioning properly.” (I forget where this came from. Bad me.)

First, let’s just get a little piece of information out of the way. Refined sugar is 99.4 to 99.7 percent pure calories. Fun!

Americans consume 152 pounds of sugar per year. That’s an average. I’m hardly eating any right now so that means someone else is eating more like 300 pounds of sugar a year. That’s nasty!

When sugar is labeled in grams it’s kind of hard to picture what 7 grams of sugar looks like. My mind doesn’t calculate that. But I found and easy way to make it click in my brain.

Want to figure out how much you eat in a day? Do this:

Take the number of grams per serving in your food and divide by 4. That will tell you how many teaspoons of added sugar you are eating. Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 for men.

You might want to reconsider next time you grab a can of pop. Here’s why…

A 12-oz. can of Coca-Cola Classic contains 41 g of sugars, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, or HSPH. A teaspoon is equivalent to 4.2 g of sugar, according to the HSPH. This means that a can of coke contains about 10 tsp. of sugar per can. The HSPH labels Coke as a drink that you should only consume sparingly and infrequently because of the relatively high sugar content. (source)

And that’s just in your pop! Check your cereals, yogurts, condiments, and other processed foods. How many teaspoons of sugar are you having in a day?

I looked at my salad dressing label recently and saw that when having a serving size of 2 tablespoons that I was eating one teaspoon of sugar. I since found a new salad dressing that has only 1 gram of sugar per serving.

When it comes to sugar, moderation is definitely key! The problem though is that you are probably getting your moderate amount of sugar without ever picking up a can of pop or a cookie.

“We humans need only two teaspoons of sugar in our body at any time in order to function properly. This amount can be obtained easily through the digestion of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Even if we were to eat no glucose or refined sugar at all, our bodies would still have plenty of sugar. Every extra teaspoon of refined sugar you eat works to throw the body out of balance and compromise its health.” ~Nancy Appleton


PS… You aren’t necessarily better off drinking diet pops. Studies show that those drinking diet gained more over time than those drinking regular pop.


Anyways... maybe try to check those grams of sugar on your nutrition labels today. How much sugar are you eating without even realizing it?

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