How Much Sugar Should You Really Be Eating?

List: Posted: 04/22/11

If you are like most people, you probably have a bit more sugar in your diet than you should. Many people get a craving and blame their sweet tooth for their "need" for sweets. However, limiting the amount of sugar in your diet can help you in some surprising (and some not so surprising) ways. 

 

Americans now consume on average 22.2 teaspoons of sugar every single day. These excess calories contribute to every common health disorder from weight gain to diabetes to tooth decay.  Doctors and dentists recommend that the daily limit for sugar is 5 teaspoons (20 grams) of sugar per day, and for children, it's 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. Most kids eat 900% more sugar than they need to, making them a prime target for all of the above health complaints.

 

By reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, you will be able to lose weight faster. When you have too much sugar in your bloodstream, the excess can signal to your body that you should be storing it as fat. The human body is a remarkable machine, and it always tries to store as much energy as possible. We've evolved over millions of years to save fat in times of plenty so we won't starve when times are scarce. However, we can be sure that the human body did not anticipate things such as mega-store supermarket, Ben and Jerry's Ice-Cream parlors or 24-hour drive-through fast food outlets!

 

While it can be difficult to get away from the sugar at first, you will be able to do it. Consider eliminating the sugar slowly instead of getting rid of it cold turkey. Instead of drinking a soft drink at lunch or dinner, have water or unsweetened iced tea instead. Buy natural sweeteners instead. Remember that while honey is natural, it is not a good alternative to sugar as it is basically pure liquid sugar. Add more fruits to your diet to help you with that sweet tooth, as natural sugars are found in much lesser quantities in fruit. 

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