How Our Sugar Rich Diets Impact Our Body
Most sugars are a natural part of just about everything we consume and consuming sugar from these sources is typically acceptable. There are also man-made sugars that we add to food. These sugars aren’t as friendly as their counterparts. Sugar in general is gaining a bad reputation and while there’s much debate on who is to blame for our sugar rich diets we can all agree an overconsumption of manufactured sugars is a problem.
An article published on Harvard Health Publishing a subsidiary of Harvard Medical School says the American diet is full of processed sugars. Processed foods normally contain processed, or added, sugars; foods high in added sugar include, but are not limited to: candy, cake, cereal, fruit juices, soft drinks, flavored items, cookies, and many baked goods. Many other products contain added sugar; Items such as ketchup, bread, cured meats, baked beans, and some soups are full of sugar.
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) website says the average American adult consumes approximately 77 grams of sugar daily. This translates to around 60 pounds of added sugar consumed yearly. The website also says the number is higher for children. Children consume 81 grams daily, which equates to around 65 pounds of added sugar yearly. The majority of this sugar (up to 47%) comes from beverages while the rest (31%) comes from sweets and snack foods.
Prolonged overconsumption of added sugars may contribute to obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, chronic inflammation, and poor heart health. The Harvard Health Publishing website says the risk of dying from heart disease increases if your diet is high on sugar. If you consume 17% to 21% of your calories from added sugar your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease increases to 38%; the higher the added sugar intake, the higher the risk says the website.
According to the AHA website, “men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day” while women should consume, “6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day." They provide an example by stating a one 12-ounce can of soda, which contains 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar to having consumed your entire daily allotment.
The AHA website says 77 percent of Americans are actively striving to consume less sugar in their diet. Seven in ten Americans are more willing to forgo their favorite sugary product to find it’s healthier alternative. Both AHA and Harvard Health Publishing website also adds how reading food labels is a great way to track added sugar intake. Knowing popular added sugar names can help alter purchasing behavior. Consuming more water and cutting back on sugary foods by replacing them with healthier alternatives is the way forward.
Distance education has steadily become the go-to method and due to the pandemic this method has stuck. Our Online CEC/CEU Nutrition courses can be the difference maker for you and your clients in the battle against overconsumption of sugar.
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