Sugar: The Toxic Truth

A lot of attention lately has been directed towards new research classifying sugar as an addictive and toxic substance. Many people are left to wonder how this can be true, when so much of our diets are comprised of the sweet ingredient. The fact that about 16% of daily calorie consumption in the United States is made up of sugar is one reason the ingredient is looked to as a problem. Sugar is everywhere, and if you are not careful you may be eating much more sugar than you are aware of day after day.

When many people think of sugar, they think of bags of the white granulated powder from the grocery store used to make cookies, cakes and ice cream sweet. However, items such as sodas, juices and even unsuspecting items like peanut butter are filled with sugar. It is easy to see how sugar can sneak into your diet so easily, adding unnecessary calories and leaving many people in need of weight loss help.

Sugar Impacts your Health

High sugar intake is associated with a number of chronic health conditions, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. In fact, a recent study revealed that men who drink one 12-ounce sugar filled soda or juice drink every day are more likely to develop heart disease.

The F.D.A estimates that added 200 calories sugar consumption per day can cause the average person to gain 40 pounds in a year. While 200 calories of sugar may sound like a large amount, many soda or juice beverages have more than that in a single serving, which deeply connects sugar with the surge of obesity in the United States.

When it comes to sugar intake, the biggest trick is moderation. Sugar is all around you, and it is best to consume sugar in small quantities. Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, eating a piece of cake or having a soda, leave your sugar consumption to the fruits that you eat. This will help your body to handle the extra calories and help you to lose weight.

Try out these simple tips for cutting sugar out of your diet!

  • Purchase “no sugar added” juices and jams. Fruits are filled with natural sugars that are sweet enough on their own. Skipping the extra sugar here can cut 10 grams or more per serving without sacrificing the taste!
  • Cook at home more often instead of stopping for take-out. When you cook from home you control the ingredients going into your food, which makes it easier for you to cut down on sugar intake. You may be surprised to learn that many fast-food restaurants add sugar to their breads or French fries.
  • Drinking more water can help you to cut down on sugar intake because if you are drinking water, chances are you are not drinking soda, iced tea or sugary juices. If you aren’t up for having a plain glass of water, try sticking a slice of lemon or lime in your beverage for a bit of flavor.