Sugar. It’s a common ingredient added into countless food items – from cereal and condiments to baby food and supposed ‘health foods’. According to the USDA, the average American, as recently as 2016, is consuming close to half their own body weight in pounds of sugar each year. [Take a look at Tables 51-53 and add together where it says “Per Capita Consumption – Adjusted for Loss” in pounds per year; for 2016, this would be a total daily intake of 74.9lbs]. Our estimated consumption is not just as a result of purchasing and eating the bags of sugar found in the grocery store baking aisle; it’s partially because sugar has many different names which makes it easier to be ‘hidden’ in various products created by the industrial food machines. It’s also because…
Sugar is a drug. Like nicotine, cocaine, or heroin, it is addictive and even considered poisonous by many health experts. Look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ and you’ll see sugar fits. It is a nutrient-less substance – so not only does it add extra calories, but it’s actually responsible for depleting the body of certain vitamins and minerals needed to break down and essentially ‘detox’ the sugar.
Added sugars are typically found in processed or prepared foods – sugar-sweetened beverages (which doesn’t just include sodas or juice, but some non-dairy milks!), breakfast pastries, dairy desserts, candy- to name a few. Naturally occurring sugar, such as that found in fruit, is not included as an ‘added sugar’.
Recommendations for added sugar consumption vary widely. The Institute of Medicine reports that added sugars should not exceed 25% of total calories consumed. World Health Organization takes a more conservative approach and recommends less than 10%.
Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of added sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to gain weight and have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, unfavorable lipid levels (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar equilibrium is one of the most important keys to health.
Getting rid of sugar in your diet takes more than passing on dessert. It involves a multifaceted approach to being a ‘sugar detective’ and becoming creative in how we can healthfully live without it.
Are you ready to take the One Bite Wellness ’25 Sugar Detox Challenge’? Join us in revitalizing life and health by breaking the bonds that make us slaves to sugar. We will explore hidden sources of sugar, re-creating healthier home and work environments, understanding & combating cravings, and learning how to have delicious meals.