Would you be surprised to learn that American’s consume an average of 130 pounds of added sugar each year? Many are hidden in the foods we eat each day. Components of fructose, found in high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar triggers your body to store fat. This has led to a nation of many overweight Americans. The American Heart Association recommends 5 teaspoons (or 20 grams) of sugar per day for women, 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams) for men, and 3 teaspoons (or 12 grams) for children. To put that in perspective, one can of sugar soda contains up to 12 grams of sugar and a slice of whole wheat bread can have up to 2 grams of sugar.
Effects on more than just your waistline:
Heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and stroke are very much related, so cutting back on sugar will help your whole body, not only today but for your future. Sugar also contains addictive properties, similar to drugs. As you eat more, your brain will need more to keep itself satisfied. Sugar tells your brain that you are hungry, so the more sugar you eat- the more foods you will subsequently eat. We often crave the boost that sugar gives us, but don’t realize that soon you will have an even bigger drop-off in energy. Sugar can actually cause your body to release serotonin, which can make you feel sleepy, rather than getting that energy boost you were seeking.
What to do about it:
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods with added sugar
- Check for sugar in unexpected places like bread and condiments
- Eat a breakfast high in protein, this curbs your chances of overeating later in the day
- Read labels- sugar is often disguised as words that end in -ose
- If you are cutting back on sugar, do it slowly to give your brain a chance to reorient itself to the new levels
- If you feel a sugar craving, eat a healthy treat or go for a short walk to curb your body’s cravings
- Take care of your health by having regular checkups with a physician and a chiropractor