I know you haven’t heard enough about how much sugar Americans are consuming so I thought I would just enlighten you by sharing this fantastic infographic with you. In the early 1800’s people consumed about 45g of sugar every five days, that’s about the same amount found in a can of soda. 1 gram is about the equivalent of a teaspoon. Fast forward to 2012 where Americans consume 765g of sugar every five days or about 130lbs per year. That’s a whole lot of sugar. Over the average American’s lifetime they can consume about 3,550lbs of sugar. That’s enough sugar to fit in an industrial sized dumpster.
The recommended amount of sugar, real sugar not processed sugar is about 9.2 teaspoons per day by the American Heart Association. The World Health Organization (WHO) came out with a recommendation of 6 teaspoons daily. That seems very difficult to achieve given how much sugar is added to processed foods by companies. Sugar is added to just about everything that doesn’t even need sugar such as pizza, pasta sauce, ketchup, toothpaste, etc. It’s difficult for consumers to know how much natural sugar versus processed sugar they are getting in their foods. Given that fact the FDA is in the process of updating nutrition labels. Among proposed changes is breaking out added sugars from natural sugars on the label. This is a big win in the fight against excess sugar consumption.
Excess sugar consumption is a big deal. This massive increase in sugar consumption can be directly tied to the obesity crisis in the United States. The truth about sugar is that it is addictive. It elicits the same physiological response as cocaine making it as addictive. Not only is it difficult for consumers to properly identify added sugar in order to avoid it, it’s a habit that can be hard to break.
As if addiction and weight increase wasn’t enough, sugar is the primary food group of cancer. Scientists and physicians are starting to include the exclusion of sugar when treating cancer patients. Removing sugar from a patient’s diet actually starves cancer cells.
Sugar is also tied to insulin resistance resulting in type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Let’s make a pact to reduce our processed sugar intake as much as possible. Naturally occurring sugar from fruits are high in calories but your body breaks these down to use as fuel. Processed sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever.
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