This is not a fad. Sugar is bad for you, it is a fact. It is causing you harm and is highly addictive. This is not a new advertising ploy (ala low fat products) or an alarmist theory. This is truth.
Sugar is bad for you. Here are some statistics that may help you better understand the situation at hand:
In 1822 the average American consumed 9 grams of sugar every day. Today, the average American consumes 153 grams of sugar everyday.
153 grams of sugar every day. Grams mean nothing to you? Okay how about we convert the grams into:
13 Tablespoons or 3/4 a cup – does that turn your stomach yet?
So basically, everyday, the average American is consuming: (for example)
- 2 lattes 22 grams (yes, that is non fat milk)
- 1 can of coke 39 grams
- 1 blueberry muffin 30 grams (yes that is the low fat version-no difference)
- Chicken Burrito Bowl at Chipotle 16 grams
- Amys Organic Tomato Soup 13 grams
- Yogurt with Granola 14 grams
- Honest Tea 19 grams
You may look at this and think, “well, Marion I am not the Average American. I haven’t had a can of coke since I was 12 and I would never eat at Chipotle or drink TWO lattes in ONE day!”
Okay so let’s rethink this.
How much sugar SHOULD we be consuming in a day?
According to the AHA (American Heart Association):
Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 3 tablespoons)
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 2 tablespoons)
Just putting it out there…perhaps if the sugar industry didn’t have as much influence as it does and the AHA were truly able to answer this straight up, do you think it would be even less? Justsayin’
So having said that, let’s revisit an idea of what your daily consumption of sugar may look like:
- 2 coffees with coconut milk creamer 8 grams (but it’s vegan, organic and healthy!!!)
- 1 Vanilla Protein Smoothie from Juice Press 27grams (but it’s Juice Press!)
- A handful of trail mix with dried fruit 20 grams (just one handful….)
- 1 Luna Bar 19 grams (isn’t that the healthy bar?)
- Faje Yogurt with Granola 14 grams (but it’s greek, organic and all natural!)
- Organic 70% dark chocolate 11grams (hey, it’s not a snickers!)
Now that I have given you an idea of sugar can creep into your day….let’s go back to the original statement of “Sugar is Bad For You”
Please take a moment to read this great piece from the “Authority Nutrition” blog.
If you do not have the time to click on that link and read it, let me give you the cheat sheet:
Ten Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad For You (taken from Authority Nutrition)
- Added sugar contains no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth
- Added sugar is high in fructose which can overload your liver
- Overloading the liver with fructose can cause non alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
- The Insulin Resistance Can Progress to Type II Diabetes
- Sugar Can Give You Cancer
- Due to its Effects on Hormones and the Brain, Sugar has Unique Fat-Promoting Effects
- Because it Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Sugar is Highly Addictive
- Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults
- It Ain’t The Fat… It’s SUGAR That Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease
Okay you are thinking, I hear you Marion…sugar is bad for you…but come on, what if I want an apple, I can’t have an apple?
If the choice is between a snickers bar or an apple, clearly the apple is the better choice. Thenatural sugar in fruits and whole foods come along with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Whereas the refined sugar that is added to prepackaged foods (soups, sauces, juices etc) comes with absolutely no nutritional benefits.
However both sources of sugar cause our blood sugar levels to rise and then crash. This is precarious territory. The sensation of feeling high, crashing and then needing more to feel high again can become addictive and cause one to eat and crave more sugar. Of course this viscous cycle can eventually lead to weight problems, diabetes and heart disease.
The challenge here is less about avoiding sugary foods and more about retraining your taste buds. It is pretty incredible. Once you go ten days with barely any sugar, on the eleventh day if you take a taste of something sweet, an apple for instance, it is almost overbearing. Truth be told, even apples aren’t safe anymore. Apples are now bread to have more sugar in them to appeal to our sugary sweet cravings!!!
In my next blog post, I will be giving tons of tips on how to retrain your taste buds. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you…what are your thoughts on sugar? How much sugar do you consume in a day? xoxo Marion