Sugar makes everything taste so much better, AND many of us actually crave it, we need our sugar fix with coffee, on our cereal and in our snacks and desserts.
Do you ever wonder what happens to your body after you eat something sweet and sugary? Let me tell you that it’s not good.
Sugar seems to be everywhere, and it’s in many foods you may not consider sweet.
You may not even know you’re eating it, but you are!
Before food processing, when sugar was mainly obtained from natural forms like fruits and vegetables, people consumed about 30 grams per day of it. Today, the average American consumes up to 96 pounds of sugar yearly (40 lbs. of which is high fructose corn syrup).
Canadians consume slightly lower amounts at 88 pounds.
The World Health Organization would like to see the number get down to 25 grams a day for both men and women (6 1⁄4 teaspoons). And there is a good reason for that.
High amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on our immune systems, hormones, and digestion.
And sugar can play a role in:
- premature ageing
- bone loss
- mental fatigue
- adrenal fatigue
- heart disease
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and play an important role in the functioning of the internal organs, the nervous system, and the muscles, but our systems do not need sugar in the quantity that we are used to. There are simple and complex carbohydrates and they are different and the way your body responds to them is very different.
Sugar is part of the SAD ~ the Standard American Diet, and that my friend is a scary tale. Sugar is also found in other starchy foods like bread, pasta, white flour, potatoes and more, here’s a chart created by the Harvard Medical School showing the glycemic index, or amount of sugar in our foods.
How Much Sugar do You Eat in a Day?
Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day. For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day.
At first thought, you probably think, “I don’t eat much sugar.” Let’s have a look, starting with breakfast.
- You begin your day with a bagel with peanut butter and a small strawberry yogurt – for a total of 33 grams of sugar.
- At mid-morning you have a large cup of coffee from your favourite coffee shop (double/ double) – 34 grams of sugar.
- For lunch you decide to go easy on the calories, so you have a salad with Italian vinaigrette and a slice of whole wheat bread – that’s another 14 grams of sugar.
- For an afternoon pick-me-up, you have a can of pop – 39 grams of sugar.
- And then for dinner, you have a glass of wine, some pasta with grilled chicken and store-bought tomato sauce – so in terms of sugar, that’s 1.6 grams in the wine, 9 grams for the sauce and about 2 grams from the noodles.
The GRAND TOTAL: 133 grams of sugar or 34 teaspoons (roughly 3⁄4 of a cup)! This is 5 times more than the entire day’s recommended amount.
Yup! Sugar is a problem, a BIG problem.
And it’s an eye-opener for sure. Especially when you consider that most of that sugar didn’t come directly in the form of table sugar but in other starchy foods like bread, pasta, wine, and it’s commonly added to jam, vinaigrette, yogurt, and sauces.
Why All The Fuss About Sugar?
Sugar is considered even more addicting than cocaine. It stimulates the brain in a way that is similar to cocaine and alcohol, triggering the release of the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
Here’s how the addiction happens, when sugar is consumed in large quantities it has several effects, and the addiction is created like this:
- People like to eat sugar, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, fatigue, and moodiness
- Over time the body gets used its dose of sugar, and cravings begin, then you’re on the vicious cycle, you need more and more of it for the same effect, this equals cravings, and the increased need to get the sugar fix your body has become dependent on.
- Some people become dependent on it and can’t function without it, so they have a “stash” available when their energy plummets, or stress hits.
- When you take sugar out of your diet you may experience sugar withdrawal, and some symptoms may appear.
I have created a 7 Day Sugar-Free Meal Plan Challenge, to make it as easy as possible to release sugar from your life for good, and to help you stay on track when the cravings hit
With some planning, a trip to the grocery store and a positive attitude, you will come out the other side feeling great! Interested in joining me?