How Many Americans Are Addicted To Sugar
We cant say exactly how many Americans have a sugar addiction yet. Researchers are only starting to study sugar addiction, so it may be a while before the numbers are in.
But we do know how much sugar Americans eat or drink, so lets start there.
Fizzy Drinks The average American kid drinks 8oz of soda a day. Studies have shown that drinking one soda per day increases your risk for diabetes by 29%
We also know from studies that 30.1% of adults on average report that they drink at least one soda per day.
Fruit juice You may think that drinking fruit juice is better than soda since it comes from healthy fruit.
But heres the kicker
When you remove the fiber from fruit you end up with pure liquid sugar.
When you eat a piece of fruit your body digests the fiber and the sugars over time. When you remove that fiber the body must deal with the sugar all at once.
This is the same process that happens when you drink a soda. So dont let food companies fool you into thinking that all natural fruit juice is a healthy choice.
Tips On Reducing Sugar
We love the Ellyn Satter philosophy that parents are responsible for what, when and where of feeding children are responsible for how much and whether of eating. .
When trying to limit sugars, we think the easiest way is to not have it readily available and to offer an alternative that you are happy for your child to eat. Its tough for everyone when a child asks repeatedly for food they know is in the cupboard that youd prefer they dont have.
This may mean not having that food or drink in the house, or at least stashed in a secret cupboard!
Language to combat pestering could be along the lines of xyz is a sometimes food, so Im happy for you to have it at parties/Nans house/Easter/Christmas/Hanukkah/Eid, but thats not an everyday food we have in the house. So if youre hungry you can have cucumber sticks.
Cereals And Other Foods
Choosing whole, unprocessed breakfast foods such as an apple, or a bowl of steel-cut or old fashioned oatmeal that dont have lengthy ingredient lists is a great way to avoid eating added sugars. Unfortunately, many common breakfast foods such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, cereal bars, instant oatmeal with added flavoring, and pastries can contain high amounts of added sugars.
Some ingredient lists mask the amount of sugar in a product. To avoid having sugar as the first ingredient, food manufacturers may use multiple forms of sugar each with a different name and list each one individually on the nutrient label. By using this tactic, sugars are represented separately in smaller amounts, which makes it more difficult for consumers to determine how much overall sugar is in a product.
- So dont be fooled your body metabolizes all added sugars the same way it doesnt distinguish between brown sugar and honey. When reading a label, make sure you spot all sources of added sugars even if theyre not listed as the first few ingredients.
Sweet treats can be enjoyed in moderation, but make sure youre aware of added sugars elsewhere in your diet, such as breads, drinks and cereals.
Industry-sponsored labeling programs can also be confusing. One such program, called Smart Choices, drew scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009 for calling one popular cereal which is 41 percent sugara Smart Choice.
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Harm: High Blood Pressure
Usually, salt gets the blame for this condition, also called hypertension. But some researchers say another white crystal — sugar — may be a more worrisome culprit. One way they believe sugar raises blood pressure is by making your insulin levels spike too high. That can make your blood vessels less flexible and cause your kidneys to hold onto water and sodium.
So How Much Sugar Per Day Can You Comfortably Cut
Just to be clear: I dont advocate depriving yourself of sweets and treats!
You can greatly reduce the amount of sugar you take in with some simple swaps and still thoroughly enjoy some sweets every day. Its all about making savvy choices.
Research shows that people who are too restrictive generally have trouble sticking with a healthy-eating plan. Im just suggesting you limit sugar in general and really enjoy what you do have.
Personally, I like a little high-quality chocolate pretty much every day.
When youre not constantly taking in sugar, a lot of desserts and candy come to seem too sweet. Im for indulging when someone puts a gorgeous flourless chocolate cake in front of me, but not an insipid pink cupcake at a kids birthday party.
When I want something sweet, youll often find me reaching for chewy dehydrated bananas, dried peaches, or homegrown fruit . Im also constantly adding to a collection of healthied-up treats from around the blogosphere on my . The latest addition: a collection of more than 50 inspired and creative healthy smoothie recipes!
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How To Reduce Sugar Intake
Reducing sugar intake is not as hard as you think, but if youre addicted, it can take some practice and commitment just like any change. The American Heart Association shares some great tips on how to reduce sugar. Put these ideas into practice on a regular basis, and in no time, you will reduce sugar and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
- Remove sugar, syrup, honey and molasses from your cupboard and table.
- If you use sugar in your coffee, tea, cereal, pancakes, etc., cut back. Use half the amount you usually use to start and even less over time. And no artificial sweeteners!
- Drink water instead of flavored beverages and juices.
- Buy fresh fruits instead of fruits that are canned, especially those in syrups.
- Instead of adding sugar to your morning cereal, use fresh bananas or berries.
- When baking, cut the sugar by one third. Just try it! You probably wont even notice.
- Try using spices, such as ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg, instead of sugar.
- Try unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar in recipes.
- Consider pure stevia, but use in moderation. Its very sweet, so you dont need much.
What Sugars Should We Avoid
Foods that contain free sugars are the ones we should be cutting down on. Free sugars include any sugar thats added to a product by manufacturers, cooks or consumers or the sugar naturally present in syrups, honey and fruit juices. It doesnt include sugars in dairy products.
There are lots of different ways free sugar can be listed on ingredients labels such as:
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Should I Limit The Amount Of Sugar I Consume
Because of the health risks associated with added sugars, its recommended that you watch your sugar intake.
The World Health Organization recommends:
- Adults and children should reduce their intake of sugar to less than 10% of their total daily energy intake. On average, this equals about 12 teaspoons of sugar per day for an adult. This include all added sugars, as well as the naturally-occurring sugars in honey, fruit juices, syrups and fruit-juice concentrates.
- Reducing your intake to less than 5% of total energy intake would provide even more health benefits.Read the nutrition panel on the food label. If the total sugar exceeds 15g of sugar per 100g of the food, check the list of ingredients to see if any added sugars are high on the list. For more information, see Where do I find added sugars on food labels?, below.
What’s A Safe Level Of Sugar
Unfortunately, Americans eat too much sugar. They don’t seem to know where to draw the line, whether or not they have diabetes. A national survey published in 2016 showed that American adults averaged at least 77 grams of added sugar per day. Children were found to eat a startling 82 grams. To put things in context, 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon.
These numbers are way above the daily limits recommended by the American Heart Association :
- Men: 36 grams
- Women: 24 grams
- Children ages 2 to 18: less than 24 grams
If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider will probably advise that you eat less sugar than the AHA’s recommendations. With a typical diet, you can quickly reach your sugar limit at breakfast. A pastry and a couple of cups of sweetened coffee will likely be above what’s safe for you.
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What Exactly Is Sugar
When you think of sugar, you probably think of white table sugar or sucrose. Sugar is just the generic name for carbohydrates that taste sweet.
Sugars can be classified based on their size. Monosaccharides are the simplest form of sugars and cant be broken down any further while still remaining an intact sugar.
Glucose, fructose, and galactose are all monosaccharides.
Disaccharides are made from two different monosaccharides. Lactose, for example, is made from glucose and galactose. Sucrose is made from glucose and fructose. Maltose is made from two glucose molecules.
Oligosaccharides are made of a short chain of monosaccharides , whereas polysaccharides are made of groups 10+.
You may be wondering why all of this matters? Well, because sugar is hidden in a lot of different products. As aforementioned, lactose is made from glucose and galactose. That means that when you consume lactose-rich products, they are going to have higher sugar content. Whole milk, for example, is high in lactose and has high sugar content. Cheese, however, is low in lactose and has low sugar content.
Just because a food isnt typically seen as sweet doesnt mean that it doesnt still have high sugar content.
Are There Other Names For Sugar
How many names for sugar can you think of?
Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrupand thats about it right?
There are 56 names for sugar!
So when you are reading your food labels you have to be on the lookout for 56 possible names of sugar.
Kind of sneaky right?
Some of these you have likely heard before. Some you may have never heard of before.
But food companies are putting some of these in your food, so its wise to be on the lookout for them on your food labels.
Even though many of these are natural sugars, the effect they have on your body when you eat them is the same.
You want to do everything possible to limit these forms of sugar.
Galactose Crystalline fructose
Some of these you will not see in most of your food. But you will have to read your food labels with a watchful eye to find the rest.
And food companies will try to trick you by using words like organic or all natural or real sugar.
Dont let them fool you!
Sugar is sugar, and if you can avoid any type of added sugar in your food, you will be better off.
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How Much Sugar In A Banana Apple Or Orange
A medium-sized, ripe apple contains about 19 grams of fructose-based sugar.
Navel oranges? About 23 grams each.
A medium-sized, ripe banana contains about 14 grams of fructose.
Does this mean the sugar in a banana and 3 oreo cookies is exactly the same?
Essentially yes it does. However, the banana offers nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals whereas the oreo cookies offer only empty calories.
The bottom line is that just because you are getting nutrition with your sugar source doesnt negate the fact that you are still eating sugar.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much Per Serving
. Also question is, what is considered low sugar per serving?
To keep all of this in perspective, it’s helpful to remember the American Heart Association’s recommendations for sugar intake. Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day. For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons per day.
Secondly, is 12g of sugar a lot for a diabetic? The recommended sugar intake for adult women is 22 grams of sugar per day, for adult men, it’s 36 grams daily, and for children, it’s 12 grams a day. Over time, consistently taking in more sugar will lead to insulin resistance disease, otherwise known as diabetes.
Also to know, how many grams of sugar should a snack have?
According to AHA guidelines, most men should consume no more than 150 discretionary calories of sugar per day. This is equivalent to 38 g or 9 teaspoons of sugar. Women should use no more than 100 discretionary calories on sugar per day. This is around 25 g or 6 tsp of sugar.
What should I do if I ate too much sugar?
What to Do After You’ve Eaten Too Much Sugar
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But Don’t Deprive Yourself
It’s vital to keep tabs on your sugar intake for lifelong health, but a no-sugar-ever diet isn’t a sustainable choice for most people, nor is it a healthy one. “Our bodies do need some sort of carbohydrates,” says Lorusso. “When you aren’t having those foods, you feel sluggish and tired.”
For a sweet treat, try to make healthier choices like fruit with homemade whipped cream, or things made with natural sugar .
But even Dr. Junger indulges sometimes. His advice: “pick the least nasty choice.” Although no added sugar is typically the healthier option, making choices that are whole or “closer to nature” is often betterin other words, it’s smarter to have a banana with 14 grams of sugar than a low-sugar processed snack.
What Are Added Sugars
Added sugars are any sugars that arent found in whole foods .
Sugars from fruit juice, dried fruits, honey, fruit juice concentrates, syrups and other natural sweeteners are considered added sugars.
Added sugars are often in unexpected foods such as soups, yoghurts, sauces, breakfast cereals and muesli bars.
You may be on alert for sugar in labels, but are your eyes peeled for maltodextrin? Or molasses? Or barley malt extract?
Take this Nutri-Grain breakfast cereal label as an example:
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How Can I Protect My Teeth From Sugar
The following steps can help reduce tooth decay that is often associated with sugar:
- Brush your teeth carefully twice a day and floss daily.
- Come visit the team at Sullivan Family Dental twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.
- Cut down on your snacking! Try to limit your consumption of added sugars to mealtimes only. This will reduce the production of acids and plaque in your mouth.
- If you eat between meals throughout the day, carry a portable toothbrush with you and brush after a sweet snack to clean your teeth of the sugar before it can form plaque or damaging acids.
- Use a mouthwash to remove as much sugar and stickiness as possible. If a fluoride mouthrinse is not available, swishing plain water can help.
- Be aware of ingredient labels! Watch out for foods and drinks ingredients with the suffix ose, which is Latin for full of and in terms of biochemistry, full of sugar.
The best way you can maintain a healthy smile is to visit Dr. Sullivan and the team at Sullivan Family Dental every six months. Even with careful brushing and flossing, Dr. Sullivan needs to see you twice a year to check from problems that you may not be able to see or feel. Regular visits allow Dr. Sullivan to catch dental problems in the early stages, before things get more serious. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Contact our office today!
What Is The Healthiest Type Of Sugar
Stevia is probably the healthiest option, followed by xylitol, erythritol, and yacon syrup. Natural sugars like maple syrup, molasses, and honey are less harmful than regular sugar and even have health benefits. Yet, they should still be used sparingly. As with most things in nutrition, moderation is key.
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But What Does That Really Look Like
- There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 oz. can of coke
- There are 10.5 teaspoons of sugar in a serving of Fruit Loops
- A standard package of milk chocolate M& Ms contains 7.5 teaspoons of sugar
- About a ½ cup of raspberries has just 1 teaspoon of sugar
- There is less than 1 teaspoon of sugar in a bacon, egg, & cheese biscuit from McDonalds
- Chobani Flip clover honey has 7.2 teaspoons of added sugar.
Sugar: How Much Is Too Much
Governments and organizations are finally declaring a maximum amount of daily sugar intake.
While this is a step forward, there are still a few problems. One, they dont all agree with each other. And two, health professionals dont necessarily agree with them either.
We all know sugar is NOT a health food. It isnt full of nutrition and excess consumption is associated with poor health.
The problem is that sugar is everywhere. Its naturally occurring. Its also added to most processed foods. And this added sugar is a factor in many chronic diseases we see today.
Sugar is inflammatory. Too much is associated with weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and cavities. Too much sugar is a huge health risk, no matter how you look at it.
So lets talk about how much sugar is too much.
Naturally occurring sugar vs Added sugar
Before we talk about the official numbers, you need to know the difference between added sugar and naturally occurring sugar.
Fruit and other whole foods contain 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 concerning. In 2013, the American Heart Association calculated that about 25,000 deaths per year were due to sweetened beverages. Added sugars are also in baked goods, candies, soups, sauces and other processed foods.
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