Sugar: we have a love-hate relationship with sugar, wouldn’t you agree?
As hard as we try, it seems almost impossible to determine how much sugar we are consuming on a daily basis. Sugar seems to be the “hidden” ingredient in everything we eat.
No one has to tell us that sugar is NOT a health food. We’ve heard that since we were children and threatened with a mouth full of cavities if we ate too much of the stuff. I think you’ll agree that sugar is not great for our health. At least I haven’t seen it listed on the healthy foods list.
The problem is that sugar is everywhere. It’s naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables, and, it’s added to just about every processed food sitting on the grocery shelves.
What you may not know though, is that this “added sugar” is a factor in many chronic diseases we see today. Sugar is inflammatory. Too much consumption of sugar is associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and cavities. Sugar is a huge health risk, no matter how you look at it.
When working with my clients in developing a healthier eating plan, they often ask “how much sugar in their daily diet is too much?”
So, let’s talk about how much sugar is “too much.”
Added Sugar vs. Naturally occurring sugar
Sugar consumption can be confusing because you have naturally occurring sugar and then you have the added sugar.
Fruit and vegetables contain naturally occurring sugar. They also contain water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals. They are good for you. Eating fruits and vegetables is a well-proven way to reduce your risks of many chronic diseases.
“Added sugars,” on the other hand, are not healthy.
In 2013, the American Heart Association calculated that about 25,000 deaths per year were due to sweetened beverages. Think about it, 1 teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams and there are 39 grams of sugar in a well-known soft drink. Do the math, one can of a soft drink may have over 9 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar, and that’s just in a drink.
Added sugars are also in baked goods, candies, soups, sauces and other processed foods. I’ve even found sugar listed as an ingredient in chicken broth!
I cannot stress how important it is for you to read the ingredients of the food products you buy. You can find sugar on the ingredient list as many names, often ending in “-ose.” These include glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.
On average, a man in the USA will consume 21 teaspoons (84 grams) of sugar a day and a woman will consume 15 teaspoons (28 grams). That’s a lot of sugar!
Learn to Limit Your Sugar
First, ditch as many processed food as possible, regardless of their sugar content. There are a ton of studies that show that processed foods are bad for your health. Period. I wouldn’t recommend eating your “daily value” of sugar from sweetened processed foods. I don’t recommend even 50 g of “added” sugar per day. Get your sugar from whole, unprocessed fruits first.
Your challenge is to reduce your added sugar intake to 25 grams, 6 teaspoons, (for a woman), on a daily basis.
Eat no more than 2 to 3 servings of fruit each day to keep naturally occurring sugar within a healthy limit.
Tips to reduce your sugar intake
Here are some of my most popular recommendations to reduce your sugar intake, so you don’t get too much:
- Reduce (or eliminate) sugar-sweetened beverages; this includes soda, sweetened coffee/tea, sports drinks, etc. Instead, have fruit-infused water. Or try drinking your coffee/tea “black” or with a touch of cinnamon or vanilla instead.
- Reduce (or eliminate) your processed desserts and baked goods and bake your own instead. You can easily reduce the sugar in a recipe by half. Or try my delicious (no added sugar) dessert recipe below.
- Instead of a granola bar (or other sugary snack), try fruit, a handful of nuts, or veggies with hummus. These are easy grab-and-go snacks if you prepare them in a “to-go” container the night before.
Are you addicted to sugar?
Download my FREE “How Addicted to Sugar Are You?” Checklist to discover if you’re addicted or not.
Have you kicked the sugar habit?
Let me know in the comments your favorite tips to reduce your sugar intake!
I’ve kicked the sugar habit and I know you can to. I would like to help you take action to get rid of your sugar habit.
Are you a solid “YES!”, I’m ready to kick sugar to the curb”, then contact me today to schedule a FREE session to get started. I’ll work with you to help you overcome your addiction to this bad boy.
Enjoy my “Chocolate Frosty” Recipe and know that there is life after sugar.
Chocolate Banana Frosty
- 3/4 cup Almond Milk - Make Your Own 🙂 2 TBSP Almond Butter to 8 oz. Water - Makes 1 Cup
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
- 1/2 Banana - Frozen
- Ice Cubes
- Add everything into a blender except ice. Blend.Add a handful of ice cubes and pulse until thick and ice is blended.Serve & enjoy!