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Sugar Confusion

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Sports DrinkWhile everyone seems to know and understand that too much sugar is indeed a bad thing, most don’t actually know what that means.  First, there are three types of sugar: sucrose, lactose, and fructose.  While the human body does require glucose to survive we know that, at the very least, “added”  sugar (also called free sugar) provides NO benefits and at its worse, is detrimental in excess.

So what exactly is defined as excess?  A single teaspoon of sugar is approximately 4 grams.  The World Health Organization recommends that daily intake of free sugar (added sugar) should be restricted to less than  12 teaspoons . Ideally they would like to see that reduction to 6 teaspoons for additional health benefits.  Let’s take a look at that:

Examples of approximate levels of sugar in food products:

  • A milk chocolate bar-5.75 teaspoons of sugar
  • Coca cola can-8.25 teaspoons of sugar
  • Lucky Charms-9 teaspoons of sugar (per 100 grams)
  • Ice Cream-3 teaspoons of sugar (1 scoop)
  • Muffin -4.75 teaspoons of sugar (one chocolate chip)

Do the math.  What becomes abundantly clear is that most people consume well over the recommended less than 12 teaspoons a day.  Too much sugar in a person’s diet has been related to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and poor dental health to name a few.  There is only one obvious conclusion.  Much disease present today could be dramatically reduced by simply  monitoring and reducing sugar intake.

Conversely to date, no adverse effects have been indicated from consuming naturally occurring sugars found in fresh fruit (not juices), vegetables, and milk.

Clearly this requires some work and thought but I cannot think of a better place to put time and effort than into taking care of your health. Soon it will become habit and your desire/need for sugar will dissipate.