We all love the sweet stuff but have we been over consuming? And how much is too much?
Let us go through some of the fundamentals of sugar together.
Are you aware of how much sugar you are currently consuming on a daily basis? With T2 Diabetes and Obesity at the forefront of the current health epidemic, scientists suggest that overconsumption of this ingredient may be a large contributing factor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average American consumes 156 pounds of added sugar per year. Because Trinidad follows many of the Trends of the Western diet due to consumption of foreign food products or foods high in sugars these stats become relevant to our society.
WHAT IS IT ANYWAYS?
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate with the chemical name of sucrose. It’s main purpose in the human body is to provide cells in the human body with energy to function. We as a collective have been consuming sugar for the past 2000 years with approximately 15 kcal per tsp.
It is digested in the small intestine then taken to the liver to be converted into glucose which provides immediate energy or is stored as glycogen in muscles or the liver until storages space gets full, which in turn will convert into fat to be stored in our fat cells.
WHATS THE ISSUE WITH OUR FAVOURITE SWEET STUFF?
The issue that we are facing as a society is not only that there are sugars in most food products we use daily but also that sugar is digested so quickly that it doesn’t leave us feeling full. This in turn can lead to increased cravings and overconsumption of calories on a whole which then leads to weight gain and increased health risks.
Scientists have shown in experiments with rats that the rats actually choose sugar over cocaine showing how addictive of a substance it is, with regard to how it registers with the pleasure centres in the brain. In other experiments done with sports teams, when team A was given a fructose beverage over Team Bs placebo drink that was sugar free prior to plating up at the buffet , Team A consumed more overall calories that Team B, therefore suggesting how sugars can play a role in weight gain relative to overconsumption.
When we overindulge in refined sugar and carbs our blood sugar rises, which initiates the secretion of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is secreted upon sugar ingestion from the pancreas which becomes over worked when consumed in large portions. This leads to conditions such as insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, obesity, and diabetes etc.
The Majority of sugar consumption is still in food and drink products according to the US sugar association.
When the food and beverage industry look for cheaper ways to get sugar into their products they turn to heavily processed corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, refined white sugar and artificial sweeteners which in turn generate more income for them and more heath issues for the general public.
I DON’T ADD SUGARS TO ANYTHING, SO WHERE ARE THEY HIDING?
- Breakfast cereal (24-28g/ ¾ cup)
- Pasta sauce
- Fruit Juice
- Canned Soups
- Many beverages
- Sauces like Sweet chili,
- Breads and biscuits
- Condiments like BBQ sauce, ketchup,
- Chinese take out
- Dried Fruit
- Gummy worms (44g grams every 10 worms) (11 packets sugar)
- Granola Bars (12g)
- Energy drinks (83g) 22 sugar packets
SOLUTION: Become a master at Label Reading
Currently the Average person consumes 385 kcal from sugars at approx. 96g (25 packets daily) which due to our high foreign good imports have similar tendencies in the Caribbean. While it is recommended that 100kcal for women (6 tsp) or no more than 150 kcal for men which is about (8-9 tsp) to be allowed for consumption per day, we are totally oblivious to the high numbers of sugars that purchasing 4 items from the store inclusive of a yogurt, juice, snack and sauce or dessert on a daily can add up to.
Avoid swapping Sugar for artificial sweetener INSTEAD choose these better options (Yacon syrup, coconut palm sugar, cane syrup, but still add them into total daily allowance.)
Think of it like a budget that you set per day/ month for your money and allow sugars to be considered something that when you surplus your allowance can lead to undesirable consequences.
Stay sweet and learn how to come off the sugar addictions by signing up to the 3 week Nutrition Purification program or to one of my 6-8 week Individual programs.
CHALLENGE : Count all of your sugars per day for a week and send me your results, how many sugars have you been unconsciously consuming? write it down in a journal or enter into myfitnesspal and lets chat about it!
Peace and Love,