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Sugar Rush: Will You Cut Your Sugar Consumption?

Sugar Rush: Will You Cut Your Sugar Consumption?

Too much sugar is not good for you. You probably already knew that, but how much is too much? 

The American Heart Association suggests that women limit sugar intake to 100 calories, or 6 teaspoons a day, and that men should limit their consumption to 150 calories, or 9 teaspoons. To put those numbers in perspective, one 12-ounce can of cola has 130 calories, or 8 teaspoons. Americans are currently taking in an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar per day.

High sugar consumption contributes to the growing problem of obesity, which leads to a host of medical problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. It’s a complicated issue. It’s not only the consumption of high sugar foods and beverages we have to consider, but the essential nutrients we are lacking when we replace healthy foods with empty calories.

Children who are overweight are at greater risk for health problems at a younger age. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation reports that nearly one in three children and teens in the United States are overweight or obese, and more children are developing conditions or diseases typically associated with adults. 

If you’ve got children, think about substituting an apple for chocolate cake. Water instead of high-sugar drinks. Normal size portions rather than super-sized. And you might want to do the same with your own diet. The Centers for Disease Control offers these Tips for Parents to help children maintain a healthy weight:

    * Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.

    * Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products.

    * Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.

    * Serve reasonably-sized portions.

    * Encourage your family to drink lots of water.

    * Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

    * Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

There are an infinite number of things that are out of our control when it comes to health care. This is not one of them. It is entirely within our power to pay attention to what we consume, to read labels, to educate ourselves about what we feed our bodies. 

The American Heart Association has provided the guideline. Six teaspoons a day for the ladies, nine for the men. Can you… will you… cut out the sugar rush?

Action Items: 

Help End Childhood Obesity

Mandate Nutrition Courses in School

Read more: , , , , , , ,

Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/43963


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24 comments

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7:06AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:58AM PST on Feb 3, 2013

I eat lots of fruits and many are already quite sweet...so there's my sugar kick!!!

8:32PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

I am cutting down on my sugar consumtion. I know it is the best thing. Cutting it out completely, though, probably won't work for me.

8:30PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

Anyway, than you Ann.

8:29PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

The title, please, don't want to offend you, but really, what kind of question is this?...

4:38AM PST on Mar 6, 2010

The most troubling problem nowadays is that food stalls and restaurants are thinking about not providing us with much choices in choosing healthy food with less sugar...

8:38AM PDT on Sep 4, 2009

I do not think the largest problem with sugar is that it leads to obesity, nor do I think it 'leads to obesity which leads to diabetes.' That is, I think it leads DIRECTLY to diabetes, not because it has to lead to excess weight first. Sugar is just not a substance that promotes health in the body, but rather the reverse.

I am most concerned about poor persons, many of whom cannot afford enough calories to meet their daily needs, much less to get obese. (I am overgeneralizing, because the body often DOES store sugar as fat even when undereating!) What I am concerned about is the unavailability and unaffordability of healthy food for many people, and that harmful sugar-laden food are available as replacements for real food.

Yes, I believe we do subsidize sugar. We should be taxing it instead, and giving that money to the poorest persons for fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Or tax it much more, and use it also to pay for the diabetic needs of those who can't pay for those needs.

I don't eat sugar at all... unless its in chocolate! I'm not giving that up until there is stevia-based chocolate, and I hope that is available soon.

Having gone down the chocolate tangent, I would like to add that the sugar industry does not generally pay its workers anything near a living wage, and this is another reason not to buy sugar, unless it is fair trade. I buy fair trade chocolate (Divine brand).

No sugar is best, but my own last holdout is fair trade chocolate.

1:17AM PDT on Sep 1, 2009

I & my family gave up sugar in teas & coffees 20 years ago

1:20AM PDT on Aug 30, 2009

I have reduced sugars - for the love of me ... Thanks for Sharing , good article

9:53AM PDT on Aug 29, 2009

I love everything you stand for, Ann. Really, I think you're great. But on this one, I gotta go with no. I'm not looking for immortality, just some la vita dolce.

But that's just me. Best,

Jim

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