By Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
We need sugar and carbohydrates as our main source of energy, converted by the body to power our cells and keep us alive and growing. But I was shocked by this data reported from the independent.co.UK: the average adult consuming approximately 63 grams (2.2 ounces), nearly 16 teaspoons, of sugar each day. That’s over twice the recommended daily intake. Please note that four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.
We love sugar because of its sweet taste. As a result, sugar is added to many of the foods we consume each day to artificially boost the flavor or texture, or act as a preservative by hindering the growth of bacteria. This may be good news for our taste buds, but it’s not so good for our health.
By eating more sugar than our bodies actually need, we are storing the excess as fat, leading to an increase in obesity and many other health problems throughout the world. If you consume more sugar than your body needs right away, it can be stored for later to keep your blood-sugar levels constant. If your body stops producing any or enough insulin, or if your cells become resistant to it, this can result in diabetes, leaving your blood-sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels.
Keeping track of how much sugar we eat can be difficult, though, as it goes by many different names and is hidden in some unlikely foods. Plus, not all sugars are bad, but working out which ones are good can be a challenge. It was suggested that men should take 9 tsp of sugar per day and 6 tsp for women. Unless you really study the sugar content of what goes into your mouth, it is very easy to consume more than you need. I hope that you find the pictures helpful when you familiarize yourself with your favorite food and recognize how much sugar there is. It is more enjoyable to your palate and your health if you make the right choice.
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