Sugars…are they all created equal nutritionally? There are so many different types of sugars; refined, brown, powered, high-fructose, natural fructose plus many more. Eating too much sugar causes fat buildup in the liver which leads to chronic diseases. With the rising obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic it’s time to take a look at sugar and help Americans reduce their risk of these chronic diseases.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded”]Tip: Did you know…16 grams of sugar listed on a product label is equal to about 4 teaspoons of sugar. To compare a product to this stat: 12oz can of soda contain 10 teaspoons of sugar.[/box]
Different Kinds of Sugar
There are many different types of sugar used in households and by professional bakers. Common sugars used in the home are refined white sugar, confectioners or powdered sugar and brown sugar (light and dark) all mostly used for cookbook recipes.
High-fructose corn syrup is a liquid sugar used in many grocery store products including soda and fruit-flavored drinks. Its main purpose is to extend shelf life of the product using it as a sweetener and preservative. It’s recommended to avoid products with this ingredient on the label because of the added preservatives and higher sugar levels.
Did you know…most American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar each day? To give yourself an idea how much you’re eating, take the number of grams of sugar per serving in your food and divide by four — that’s how many teaspoons of added sugar are in each serving.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded”]Tip: Recommended daily amount of added sugar is 24 grams or 6 teaspoons equal to 100 calories for women and for men 9 teaspoons equal to 150 calories per American Heart Association (AHA).[/box]
Natural Fructose Sugar
Sugar is not all bad. It occurs as a natural carbohydrate in fruits, vegetables and milk. In addition these foods contain essential vitamins and minerals plus water and fiber which slow the release of the natural sugars into the bloodstream to prevent insulin spikes.
However, ‘natural’ sugar should be consumed in moderation. The body can only handle a limited quantity of sugar at a time. It’s better to have a small bowl of fruit two times a day rather than a large bowl at one meal.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded”]Tip: USDA recommends 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, or roughly half a plate full at each meal.[/box]
How the Body Reacts to Glucose
After sugar is consumed it turns into glucose in your bloodstream. When the blood sugar levels spike above 120 mg the pancreas over-releases the hormone insulin. This is when the body shifts into fat storing mode. As the blood sugar levels increase you store more fat. This is what can lead to the epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and even heart disease.
The point of sharing this chart is to emphasis the increasing line of both sugar intake and obesity rates per capita in the United States from the year 1975 to 2000 as compared to the United Kingdom. Refer to the resource link titled Potential Role of Sugar in the Epidemic of Obesity, Diabetes for more information.
List of resources, all worth checking out.
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Cheers to a Healthy Day!