The Dangers of Sugar
Like salt, sugar addiction is rather common. Health professionals unfortunately agree that beating a sugar addiction is just as tough as kicking cocaine, heroin or a tobacco habit. There are neurological and physiological processes triggered by sugar which create this powerful addiction in some people. If sugar was not such a deadly food when taken in excess, this would not be a problem.
Mercola.com is a health-centered website. They have been empowering people to "take care of your health" since 1997. They list no fewer than 76 health problems directly linked to sugar. It is no longer argued that sugar is probably single-handedly responsible for the obesity crisis in modern societies. From weight gain to premature aging, promoting cancer to boosting your risk of diabetes, sugar can be downright deadly.
Your Daily Recommended Allowance of Sugar is...
The World Health Organization lowered its sugar intake recommendations by 50% in 2014. They now suggest no more than 5% of your daily calorie intake should be delivered by sugar. What does that mean? For the normal person it means 25 grams (roughly 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day. You may be thinking, "I am safe. I don't add anywhere near 6 tablespoons of sugar to my food on a daily basis."
Unfortunately, you don't have to. Normal foods are so chock full of sugar that there is a good chance you could be over your sugar RDA without reaching for the sugar bowl.
The American Heart Association recommends sugar levels similar to the levels the WHO suggestions. The AHA suggests mail adults taken no more than 150 calories of sugar per day (9 teaspoons). They suggest 100 calories per day as a maximum (6 teaspoons) for adult women.
6 Simple Tips For Cutting Back on Sugar
1 - Be Careful of Foods Advertised As Fat-Free
Fat, both healthy and unhealthy varieties, delivers a lot of flavor. That's why it is used in a lot of processed foods. In an effort to eat less fat, some people reach for fat-free foods and beverages. Make sure you are reading your food labels when you do so. Fat is often replaced by sugar in foods which are sold as fat-free.
2 - Learn to Read Food Labels
Panocha, refiner's syrup, Florida crystals and diastatic malt are all deceptive efforts by food manufacturers to hide the presence of sugar. The next time you are online, type "different names for sugar" into your favorite search engine. Prepare to be overwhelmed. Print out this list and keep it with you when you go shopping. Avoid these ingredients like the plague.
3 - Skip Any Foods with Ingredients Ending in "OSE".
The last tip was a good one. But in case you get stuck shopping for groceries and you forget your list of alternative names for sugar, don't fear. Just skip food ingredients with an "ose" suffix. Galactose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose and dextrose are all synonyms for sugar.
4 - Cut Back on Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks
Remember earlier, when you learned your body needs no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of daily sugar to operate properly? A single 12 ounce can of most sodas delivers 120 to 150 calories from sugar (7 to 9 teaspoons). The sugar content in popular 8 ounce energy drinks averages between 100 and 125 calories (6 to 7 teaspoons). This puts you at or over your DRA of sugar after just one beverage, and does not include sugar already found in the foods you eat.
5 – Avoid Added Sugar Altogether
Your body doesn't need you to feed it sugar. When you get ample carbohydrates in your diet, your body uses them to manufacture sugar. This is where you get your energy from. This is also why sugar leads to obesity. When you get too many simple carbohydrates in your diet, like those found in sugar, your body stores these carbs as fat. As long as you are eating enough healthy carbohydrates, you can avoid sugar altogether.
6 – Cut Back on the Baked Goods
Baked goods are often yummy and delicious. They are quite frequently fluffy and airy, so you may not think they are doing that much nutritional damage. However, traditional baked goods tend to be extremely high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates. They can present health problems for otherwise healthy individuals, and have absolutely no place in your nutrition plans if you are obese.