The amount of sugar you can consume that can be consumed safely each day will vary based on your caloric intake, your activity level, and many other variables. It is generally recommended to avoid sugars added when you can since they don’t have essential nutrition. Consuming too much sugar can result in preventable ailments.
A high intake of added sugar has been linked to various preventable illnesses.
It’s a great energy source, but it doesn’t provide additional nutrients and could harm your metabolism in the future.
However, how much is excessive? Do you have to eat a tiny portion of sugar throughout the day without harm? Or is it best to stay away from all sugar?
Natural Vs. Sugar Added
Sugars are carbohydrates, and they are the body’s primary fuel source. There are a variety of sugars. They include:
The sugar Glucose is a simple one which is the basic ingredient of carbohydrates.
Fructose, like glucose, is a different kind of sugar found in nature in root vegetables, fruits, and honey.
Sucrose: Often referred to by its table name, the sugar contains equal proportions of fructose and glucose
Lactose: A natural sugar found in milk and comprises the same ratio of galactose and glucose.
If you consume carbohydrates, they are broken into glucose. The glucose can be used to create energy.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and legumes are rich in natural sugars, with lactose, fructose and glucose making up most of the food group.
It is also naturally present in sugar cane and sugar beets as sucrose. However, they are refined to create white sugar in processed foods and beverages.
According to the USDA, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a different kind of sugar added to corn. Although sucrose comprises 50% fructose and glucose, it is 50% of the total. It is offered in two varieties:
A type of HFCS that contains 55% fructose and 45 per cent glucose. It can be found in soft drinks.
A kind of HFCS containing 42% fructose and per cent glucose is utilized in beverages, baked goods and other products.
Honey, maple syrup and agave are all-natural sugars. However, they’re considered to be an added sugar when they are added to meals. Sugar is also transformed and added to food items with various guises, such as an inverted version of corn syrup evaporated cane juice, dextrose and molasses: brown sugar, brown rice syrup, and many more.
The most significant sources of sugar within the American diet include desserts, soft drinks beverages, and sweetened dairy products such as yoghurt, flavoured milk and ice cream. They also have refined grains that are improved, such as sweet cereals.
What amount of sugar should we consume?
The government suggests that unsweetened sugars, sugars that are added to drinks or foods, and sugars naturally found in syrups, honey, and sugar-free vegetable and fruit smoothies, juices and purées are not to comprise less than 5% of calories (calories) that you consume from drinks and food each throughout the day.
- Adults should not consume greater than 30g of free daily sugars (roughly the equivalent of 7 sugar cubes).
- Children ages 7-10 should consume at most 24g of free sweets daily (6 sugar cubes).
- Ages 4 – 6: Children must not consume more than 19g of sugar-free daily sugars (5 sugar cubes).
There’s no limit on the guideline for youngsters under four, but it is recommended that they stay away from sugar-sweetened beverages and food containing sugar. Discover more information about what is appropriate to feed children.
Free sugars can be present in many foods, including sweets, cakes, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sparkling drinks, and juice drinks. These are the sweet foods which we must cut down on.
As an example, a bottle of Coke can contain more than nine sugar cubes – over the daily allowance for adults.
The sugars are found in natural food items like fruits, vegetables, milk and even in the food chain. However, we are not required to limit the types of sugars found in these foods.
What are the foods that contain added sugars?
Most packaged drinks and foods are loaded with sugars that have been added, such as:
- Cakes, muffins, biscuits and scones
- Cordials and soft drinks
- Vitamin, energy, and sports drinks
- Juices of vegetables and fruits
- Ice cream, desserts, and lollies
- tomato sauces and tomato ketchup, including pasta sauces and stir-fry sauces
- certain breakfast cereals, muesli and other bars
- dried fruit
- Certain foods that are low in fat, like yoghurt, for example.
- Salad dressings and pickles, and pickles
What makes added Sugar Bad for You?
A high sugar intake in your daily diet can trigger many problems. A few of the health-related negative impacts of added sugar are:
Cavities: The bacteria in your mouth consume sugar and make acid as an unintended consequence. Acid eats away the enamel of your teeth and causes the appearance of cavities or holes.
Type 2 Diabetes: If you consume refined sugar, you experience a spike in blood sugar, and your body must perform overtime to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. Your capability to handle these spikes diminishes in time, and you may become Type 2 diabetes.
Heart disease: Sugar levels that are too high in your blood could harm tissues and cells, including blood vessels. This can lead to plaque accumulation inside blood vessels. It also increases the chance of suffering from heart attacks and strokes.
Gain weight: The body’s sugar stores in the form of fat. This could cause the weight to increase. Additionally, if excessive calories are derived from sugar, it’s not getting the nutrients you require. Therefore, you’ll be in a state of hunger and inclined to consume more food.
Researchers are discovering that sugar could be connected to different health problems like:
- Joint pain
- Liver illness
- The mood changes
- Ageing skin
What can I do to reduce my consumption of sugar?
There is no need to cut out all sugar. Food, veggies as well as
Dairy products are all naturally occurring sugars. They are also high in fibre and vitamins and minerals like calcium.
It is important to be careful not to consume too much added sugar. Look up food labels like the one previously mentioned.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a great way to consume too much sugar since they do not allow your body to feel satisfied or content.
To cut down on added sugars, you can also:
- Substitute breakfast cereals with dried fruit by consuming fruit-free muesli or porridge
- Cook eggs for breakfast
- Purchase plain, unsweetened yoghurt and then add some fresh fruits.
- Create your sauces from vinegar, wine and tomatoes if you want. You can also add spices, herbs, onions or garlic.
- Enhance food by adding spices and herbs, like chilli,
- reduce the foods you enjoy, and cut back on foods that aren’t essential, like cookies, cakes, ice cream and cakes.
- Drink plain soda and mineral water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages and sports drinks. You can also drink Iced tea.
AHA Sugar Recommendation
To keep everything on track, it’s important to remember the American Heart Association’s guidelines regarding sugar consumption.
Men should consume at most nine teaspoons (36 grams, or 150 calories) of sugar added daily.
The number for women is smaller for women: six teaspoons (25 grams (or 100 calories) each day. Think about it: a 12-ounce soda container has added eight teaspoons (32 grams) of sugar! You’ll get your entire day’s worth of calories in one slurp.
There’s good news: the add-sugar message is gaining ground, and many American adults seek change. According to research, most Americans want less sugar consumption in their lives. Seven in ten consumers would be willing to forgo a sweet item to find healthier alternatives. There is a willingness. For now, your best defence is education.
Food producers must disclose the amount of sugars added to be listed on their Nutrition Facts Label by the middle of 2021 or even earlier, based on the size of their business. Recent research has found this disclosure could help stop nearly 1 million instances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes over the next 20 years. Indicating the entire amount of added sugars signifies that customers will no longer be required to research various aliases of sugars added to determine how much sugar the food or drink is made up of.
Therefore, you must read the labels carefully and remember that sugar added is sugar, no matter the clever ali you use!