Are You Eating Too Much Sugar Without Knowing It?
156 pounds…that’s how much added sugar Americans consume each year on a per capita basis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Allow me to help you visualize that: it’s 31 five-pound bags for each of us.
Now if you’re thinking, I hardly ever put added sugar on my food or in my drinks. You’re not alone. You don’t have to literally scoop the sugar out of the sugar bowl; much of the sugar we consume comes from food.
Foods Containing Sugar
Obviously, those foods include things like candy, soda, and junk food. But there are plenty of other foods that sugar is hiding in.
Did you know that certain types of crackers, yogurt, ketchup, and peanut butter, for instance, are loaded with sugar? Many times it’s in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
In the Standard American Diet (SAD), the major source of “added sugar” is soft drinks. They account for 33% of all added sugars consumed, says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, a spokeswoman for the Sugar Association and the director of sports nutrition in the athletic department of Penn State University.
Sugar and Your Health
Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells.
The most toxic of all sweeteners is found to be more addictive than cigarettes or cocaine. Specifically, sugar can stress out the pancreas and make cells resistant to insulin. This in turn can result in high blood pressure and chronic inflammation. We already know that inflammation is the cornerstone of most diseases and since table sugar is half fructose, the body cannot convert it and it becomes toxic to the liver.
If you want to kick the sugar habit, don’t reach for the artificial kind as they could do just as much damage to your health.
Acesulfame potassium – also known as acesulfame-K and sold as Sunett® or Sweet One®, this artificial sweetener is used in aspartame or sucralose to give diet soft drinks, chewing gum, and other products a sweet taste. Preliminary studies suggest that it may contribute to the development of breast tumors.
Aspartame – sold as NutraSweet and Equal, this controversial sweetener is found in diet drinks and as a stand-alone sweetener. Some animal studies have linked it to an increased risk of cancer.
Saccharin – sold as Sweet n’ Low, this calorie-free sweetener is linked to bladder cancer and obesity.
Sucralose – sold as Splenda is found in many diet foods. It’s designed to activate taste buds but be indigestible thus linking it to gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and rashes.
Agave – this nectar from a desert plant is high in fructose, which we know is toxic to the liver. It’s best to avoid this one.
Erythritol – a naturally processed sugar alcohol and 70% as sweet as sucrose. This sweetener appears to be safe.
Are you aware of the amount of sugar you are consuming? Will this make you pay attention more? Let me know in the comments below!