Ever wonder how much sugar you consume in a day and is your normal sugar consumption healthy?
Wow, I am so excited and I can’t believe this is finally happening. The FDA is finally going to make food labels list sugar details. Yes, grams of sugar currently appear on a label, but did you ever notice that this is no other information about the sugar? How much of this sugar is a percentage of the daily allowance based on 2000 calories per day and how much is added sugar vs. naturally occurring sugar? Now, that’s the detail I’m looking for and it’s what you will see on most labels by July 2018.
It’s easy to know that a donut or an ice cream bar contains loads of sugar, but what about that Frappé mocha drink, or your low-fat yogurt, or even pasta sauce? Finally, now you will be able to see all the hidden sugars in the processed foods you consume.
Let’s take a look at how much sugar you can consume without even eating something that resembles dessert. I read this in Experience Life magazine Jan/Feb 2017 issue. Your day starts with strawberry yogurt and granola, then you grab a Chai latte on the way to work. Lunch is a salad with fat-free dressing, then pasta with tomato sauce for dinner. As a result, that day would have given you about 130 grams of sugar which is around 33 TEASPOONS (2/3 of a cup)! The World Health Organization suggests about maybe 10% of your daily calories can be from sugar. So that works out to about 6 TEASPOONS or 24 grams for women, 9 teaspoons for men, and 3-6 teaspoons for children. That’s a lot less than the average American consumes.
New Nutrition Labels
The new labels will show people how much sugar they are really eating and this should be an eye-opener. Did you know that nutritional labeling didn’t even become law until 1990? But the sugar industry chose to not disclose details of daily allowance or how much sugar was added in the manufacturing process.
The sugar industry has paid tons of money to keep science from revealing what health risks sugar consumption has on the body. There was a study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine (September 2016) that exposed the sugar industry trade group to paying off scientist. Seems like Harvard scientists were paid large sums of money in 1965 to downplay sugar’s role in coronary heart disease. Not only did they downplay it, but redirected the attention to saturated fats and cholesterol. Now you’ve got a whole bunch of doctors prescribing statins for cholesterol and heart disease.
Think about it and understand what this means. Harvard scientists released studies from 1967 to 1970 that single-handedly reframe how our nation ate. The whole low fat food movement was born and Americans started consuming large amounts of carbs and sugar. They stated that sugar was harmless in reasonable amounts and people readily believed them. But with all the sugar that was added to just a single processed food product, how could any human consume a “reasonable” amount?
How does sugar make you sick?
- Sugar is made of 2 bonded molecules: glucose and fructose. When you eat it, the bonds break apart and the fructose has to be processed by the liver. With the current amounts of sugar consumed, your liver is being taxed at keeping up with the metabolizing. Glucose is picked up by the bloodstream and taken to an organ or muscle that needs it.
- With the large amounts of sugar consumption, we are seeing a rise in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This excess fat damages the liver and causes it to inflame. Remember, inflammation is helpful for a sprained ankle, but it’s not something you want in a chronic state in your body. Only 35 years ago non-alcoholic fatty liver disease didn’t even exist! It is predicted that by 2020 this will be the number 1 reason for liver transplants and it’s preventable! Yikes.
- Increased sugar consumption is tied to belly fat, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. (Experience Life Jan/Feb 2017 pg 43)
- More and more Americans are hitting clinically obese levels. It is my hope that the new labeling standards will help people understand how much they are blindly consuming.
Studies with mice have show sugar is more addictive than cocaine and lights up the same sensory areas of the brain. So what to do about it? As a sugar addict, I completely relate and understand. The best thing to do is seek support with a clear program that gets your body off sugar. I love Dr. Karen Wolfe’s Sugar Buster Boot Camp. I did it myself and it transformed my life around sugar. If you want to finally get off sugar using a supportive system, just email me and I’ll connect you with Dr. Karen. In the meantime, let’s look forward to better labels around sugar.