Do you know what the recommended daily sugar intake for a human is?
Line up 6tsp of sugar in a row and it probably looks gross right?
What if I told you most people in the US eat that by lunchtime, in fact, a recent estimate shows that American’s eat 23 tsp a day.
This week in the podcast we are going to take a look at how it affects us, where the sugar is coming from and how you can use this information to make adjustments to what comes in and out of your house.
Tell us in the comments below, what shocks you the most about this episode?
Weekly casual conversations about taking health into your own hands. I am your host Kristin Longacre.
In this episode, I’m going to start out with a pop quiz. Do you know what the recommended daily sugar intake is? I’ll give you a second 60s boots. Think about that lineup six teaspoons of sugar in a row, and it probably looks gross, right?
What if I told you that most people in the US eat that by lunchtime? Actually, a recent estimate shows that Americans eat 23 teaspoons of sugar a day. Let that sink in.
This week, we are going to take a look at how sugar affects us where the sugar is coming from and how you can use this information to make adjustments to what comes in and out of your house.
Before I get started, I want to give a disclaimer. We are not here to talk about natural sugars such as honey, fruits and even vegetables. Those sugars aren’t the reason that America has an obesity problem.
We are here to talk about added sugar, which these days is added into what seems like everything. So why is added sugar bad for you? It’s not terrible for you. However, the amount we’re consuming is where we’re running into problems.
We know that sugar rots your teeth. The dentist has been telling us this since we were little kids. But there are so many other aspects of our health that sugar affects more so than our teeth.
First things first, let’s talk for a minute about sugar and hormones. If you’re female, you are probably all too familiar with the ups and downs that come with hormones. Did you know that too much extra sugar can affect things even more.
For example, let’s take a look at sugar and PMS symptoms. Bringing in excess sugar causes inflammation in your body. In turn, inflammation can cause hormone imbalance. Therefore, when you are craving sweets, you are actually adding fuel to the fire with your PMS symptoms by consuming them.
If you’re curious to see how it affects you watch your hormones over the next few weeks and the up and down balance. Specifically keep an eye on how much sugar you’re bringing it with less added sugars. Are you feeling a little bit more in control? tying it in with hormones and inflammation. Too much sugar can cause other reactions in your body.
Do you ever notice more breakouts on your face a few days after enjoying a few too many sweets our bodies can take a bit to process sugars in may show up as inflammation on our skin and a form of acne. I get if you’re curious start keeping track of your sugar intake and the breakouts you’re seeing. Are they possibly related? Maybe acne isn’t so bad to control.
It’s not just hormones that sugar can play a part in nor is it just rotting your teeth. Sugar isn’t evil when consumed in low amounts. Our body actually uses it as fuel to give us energy. However, the excess sugar can cause the liver to freak out because it can’t handle the amount being sent its way our body doesn’t need a ton of extra sugar for more energy.
So it will take all that extra sugar and turn it into fat to store it. This is where the obesity problem begins. If consistently eating too much sugar continues time and time again. Our body continues to store it more and more as fat along with the higher obesity rates comes mothered many other conditions such as high blood pressure, type two diabetes and the list goes on.
So where’s all this added sugar hiding? You’re probably thinking, well, I don’t really eat a lot of sweets, so there’s no way I’m eating this much extra sugar. Chances are you’re used to hearing about the sugar in pop candy, juice, cereals, etc. But there are many other hidden sources that we really don’t realize we’re consuming that much sugar in.
Let’s start with bread. I’m not here to hate on bread. It’s delicious, but honestly it’s also extremely high in sugar. two slices of delicious white Wonder Bread are five grams of sugar which translates to 1.2 teaspoons of sugar. Therefore 1/6 of your daily recommended sugar can be coming from two pieces of breakfast toast That doesn’t include the jelly or whatever you’re putting on top, then suddenly, it sounds kind of gross.
Again, I’m not here to hate on bread. However, there is a reason so many people see success in weight loss when it’s removed from their diets. Sugar is the main reason for that. condiments can also be a huge source of sugar.
Take ketchup, for example, one serving of Heinz ketchup is one tablespoon. That serving contains one teaspoon of sugar, salad dressings, dipping sauces and pieces. Pizza sauces aren’t much better. Again, I’m not here to hate and I believe that we absolutely still be using condiments and sauces. But let’s use them in moderation if you’re enjoying them.
So how can you enjoy them without worrying about sugar? Well, I’m glad you asked. First things first, pay attention to the serving size. As a country, we have very little respect for serving sizes. Next time you enjoy ketchup or a salad dressing, flip the ball around and get a better idea of the recommended serving size. Don’t just eyeball it, measure it out.
Look how far off you are. Using this knowledge, take inventory of your sugar intake. Don’t be concerned about calories, fats, proteins, etc. Just look at sugar for a few days, you may be surprised at how much you’re consuming.
If you want to satisfy that sweet tooth. Try swapping out sweet treats for something else such as fruit. Instead of a brownie after dinner, which is probably extremely high in sugar. Have a bowl of strawberries that can satisfy a sweet tooth but are filled with natural sugars.
Not to mention a few vitamins and minerals. Another way to avoid sugar is to focus more on the whole foods in your day to day meals instead of processed foods or fast foods. You know vegetables, fruits, things that come from the earth. Chances are if they’re coming from a factory or a drive thru, there’s a good amount of sugar added to it.
I know you’re probably saying but sugar is so good. I get it. Sugar is actually addicting. Research shows that when you consume sugar, it triggers an opiate response in your brain, therefore sure actually becomes a reward for your brain. From there, you crave more sugar. Because it’s a reward, it begins a vicious cycle that’s really hard to break.
If nothing else, I hope this episode helps make you more aware of your daily sugar intake. While some have done it cutting sugar 100% from our daily lives is not necessarily easy or realistic. However, by taking a step back from how much sugar you’re eating, and avoiding more of the added sugars, you can gain a lot of control over your own body just with those changes.
I would love to know your thoughts on sugar and our daily lives.