You probably haven’t spent a ton of time wondering what happens to your body after you eat something sugary – it goes in there with all the rest of the food you consume and keeps you alive – end of story. Well, sugar is definitely important to staying alive; carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and play an important role in the functioning of the internal organs, the nervous system and the muscles. But our systems do not need sugar in the quantity that we are used to.
￼Before food processing, when sugar was mainly obtained from fruits and vegetables, people consumed about 30 grams per day of it. Today, an average American consumes 76 grams a day, which is about 19 teaspoons. That adds up to 96 pounds of sugar yearly (40 lbs. of which is high fructose corn syrup). Canadians consume slightly lower amounts at 88 pounds. The World Health Organization would like to see the number get down to 25 grams a day for both men and women (6 1⁄4 teaspoons).
High amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on our immune systems, hormones and digestion. Some of the negative effects are: premature aging, weight gain, fatigue, bone loss, mental fatigue, depression and it is a major contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
How much sugar do you consume in a day? At first thought, you probably think, “not that much”. Let’s have a look, starting with breakfast. For example, you begin your day with a bagel with peanut butter and a small strawberry yogurt – for a total of 33 grams of sugar. At mid morning you have a large cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop (double/ double) – 34 grams of sugar. For lunch you decide to go easy on the calories so you have a salad with Italian vinaigrette and a slice of whole wheat bread – that’s another 14 grams of sugar. For an afternoon pick-me-up you have a can of pop – 39 grams of sugar. And then for dinner you have some pasta with grilled chicken and store bought tomato sauce – that’s 9 grams for the sauce and about 2 grams from the noodles.
The GRAND TOTAL: 131 grams of sugar or 32 teaspoons (roughly 3⁄4 of a cup)!
BEST to the WORST
The following is a list of the best to the worst sugar options. Check the labels of your protein powders, bars and other performance supplements. If they contain sugars from the worst or absolute worst list, TOSS THEM OUT! Keep this list handy when you are purchasing groceries and supplements going forward.
- Maple syrup
- Coconut palm sugar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit derived sugars like ripe banana, unsweetened apple sauce, whole dates
- Raw sugar: Turbinado, Muscovado, Demerara, Rapadura/ Panela
- Agave nectar
- Yacon syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- White sugar
- Beet sugar, grape sugar
- Brown sugar
- Added sugars and sugar synonyms: Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Caramel, Lactose, Maltose, Dextrose, Maltodextrin plus more!
- Artificial sweeteners: Sucralose/ Splenda, NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet and Low
- Sorbitol: Extracted from corn syrup
THE Absolute WORST:
Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) or Glucose/Fructose: Consists of industrially treated, genetically modified cornstarch that has been converted into sugar. The process is very inexpensive but uses huge amounts of energy to produce. There are extreme health risks associated with HFCS that come from its conversion to triglycerides or circulating fats in the blood. Blood triglycerides are stored as fat, which increases the size of fat cells, causing weight gain and is associated with diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
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- Posted by PRA-Webmaster
- On June 19, 2017
- 0 Comments