Sugar is great. It makes things taste better and we crave it because it’s delicious. Who doesn’t like a slice of cake, or some ice cream for dessert? But the truth is there aren’t many worse things to put into your body. The negative effects of sugar are staggering, and the worst part is, it’s almost impossible to avoid it in today’s world and it’s addictive. Let the education begin!
Daily recommended values.
The recommended daily calorie intake for the average woman is 2000 calories and for the average man it’s 2400 calories. It is recommended that less than 10% of your daily calorie intake be from sugar, added or natural. So how much sugar does that work out to be? Well 10 percent of 2000 is 200 calories and one gram of sugar is equal to 3.87 calories. That’s roughly a maximum intake of 52 grams of sugar in a day for women. Now if we do the same thing for men it ends up being about 62 grams of sugar per day. These are the facts. Now it’s time to ruin your day.
How much sugar do you think is in your favorite foods?
Here’s a list of some popular everyday foods and the amount of sugar they contain:
Honey Nut Cheerios – 33g of sugar per 100g of cereal (1-2 servings)
Maple Syrup – 14g per tbsp
Strawberry jam – 10g per tbsp
Fresh fruit – 9g per 3 ounces of fruit
Orange juice – 21g per cup
Milk – 13g per cup
McDonalds large double double – 21 grams of sugar
Small blueberry muffin – 22g of sugar
Ketchup – 3.7g per tbsp
Italian dressing – 1.6g per tbsp
Tomato Soup – 10g per cup
Tomato Sauce – 10g per cup
Quaker chewy bars – 29g per bar
Barbecue sauce – 6g per tbsp
Teriyaki sauce – 2.35g per tbsp
Baked beans – 13g per serving
Pizza – 3.8g per slice
Pasta – 12g per cup
Sweet and sour sauce – 7g per 2 tbsp
Chocolate cake – 55g per 1/12 of a cake
Gatorade – 56g of sugar per bottle
Reese Chocolate bar – 24g per bar
Monster Energy drink – 27g per can
Apple Pie – 17g per slice
Fuzzy peaches – 47g of sugar per 64g of candy
Can of pop – 39g per can
Oreos – 7g per two cookies
This is only a basic list. Just take a quick read through and see how much sugar you think you consume in a day. I don’t know about you but I’m so far over the cap it’s ridiculous. I passed the sugar cap after breakfast alone. So now what? You have an idea of how much sugar is in some common everyday foods, but what does it all mean? Is it bad for you? You bet it is.
How does sugar affect you?
First and foremost it rots your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed on simple sugars and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel. This is well established and this has probably affected most of us. The second problematic thing is that it makes you hungry. There is a hormone in your body called leptin, it’s the thing in your body that says I’m Full. Excessive sugar inhibits leptin so you don’t feel full. This inevitably leads to the next problem. Weight gain. You can see this just walking around your city, and sugar is responsible for most of it. Cutting sugar out of your diet is one of the best ways to lose weight (just so you know!). It also boosts your insulin level and keeps it there. When you have a consistently high level of insulin your sensitivity to it is reduced. This sensitivity loss causes fatigue and high blood pressure leading to a more sedentary lifestyle further contributing to weight gain and obesity. Now for the fun stuff, here’s a list of all the diseases and impairments it can cause:
- Kidney disease
- Liver failure
- Pancreatic cancer
- Heart disease
- Cognitive decline
So how do you feel about sugar now?
That’s pretty brutal isn’t it? I thought so. And based on this list I’m well above the recommended sugar level and you probably are too. That means you are susceptible to everything on this list of problems. There are healthier versions of most foods on this list so it’s easy enough to cut back with a little research. As far as drinks go though, there was only a single thing I looked up with less than 10g of sugar per cup. Water. I don’t know about you but I drink at least four or five cups of something a day. Anything other than water for those five cups puts me over the daily maximum for sugar intake.
This was a huge eye opener for me and I fully intend to make changes to my own diet to support a healthier lifestyle. I hope this was as motivational for you as this was for me. If there’s one healthy change I would strongly recommend to everyone it’s to seriously cutback on your sugar intake. Make a healthy choice today and save yourself in the long run.