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Now that you’ve taken the quiz and have seen some of the foods that surprisingly have added sugars, we wanted to provide more information on the impacts added sugar can have on your health.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, American men consume an average of 24 teaspoons of added sugar each day. That’s about an extra 384 calories of pure sugar every day! (Harvard)
- Consuming sugary beverages can turn off your body’s natural appetite control because liquid calories are not as satisfying as solid calories (Harvard). Not being full and satiated can cause you to overeat and consume unnecessary calories, leading to unwanted weight gain!
- A 2015-2020 American study found that the average person consumes 13% of their daily calories from added sugars or about an extra 260 calories a day. (Iowa)
- In the 1950’s the average serving size for a soda was 6.5 oz, fast forward to the 2000’s and the new serving size increased to a 20 oz bottle (Harvard). That’s an increase of approximately 150 calories, or an extra 37g of sugar, between the two sizes.
- In 2008, 91% of children from ages 6-11 consumed an average of 226 calories a day from sugary beverages.
Trying to cut down on the amount of added sugars you consume each day can be impactful on your overall health. Added sugar is extremely common in the foods we eat and consuming excessive amounts of it has been shown to accelerate the development of obesity and obesity-related health issues. Foods that commonly have added sugars (like cookies and soda) contain a high amount of empty calories. Consuming these foods on a daily basis can quickly cause your body to store these excess calories as body fat. Having high amounts of body fat is classified as obesity and there can be a variety of health issues that can come from obesity, such as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, joint pain, sleep apnea, and acid reflux, among others.
Removing as much added sugar as you can from your diet will help to reduce your risk of becoming obese and developing negative health conditions. If you are a soda drinker, try slowly cutting out one serving of soda from your daily intake. Each time you reduce your intake by 12 oz you’ll be saving yourself 150 calories and 41g of sugar from your diet!
If you don’t drink soda or other sugary beverages you can still be inadvertently consuming hidden sugars. Next time you’re in the grocery store and need to buy some foods that are prepackaged, check the nutrition label for sugar content.
A recent change from the FDA requires all manufacturers to list the amount of added sugars (per gram) in a product on food labels. This is a separation from the previous food label where companies were only required to list total sugars and did not have to differentiate between natural sugar and sugar that the company added manually. This label change is a huge win for the health community and for you! As a consumer, you are now able to see exactly how much added sugar, if any, is in the products you purchase! This knowledge gives you power in being able to make healthier choices for yourself and for your family.
When shopping for items in the grocery store, try to keep a few things in mind:
- The serving size– If an item has 12g of sugar per serving and the serving size is 2 tbsp, that’s a lot of sugar packed into a small portion! You want to look for items that have a larger serving size with a low amount of sugar.
- Added sugars– You’re looking at an item that has 10g of sugar per serving but has 0g of added sugar. That means that all the sugar in that food item is naturally occuring and no sugar has been added. Common foods that have natural occuring sugars are fruit, veggies, tomato sauce*, salsa, yogurt*, nut butters*, milk, and honey. Although it is always a better choice to pick foods that are low in added sugars, you still want to keep in mind that big portions of foods like nut butters, honey, and dairy still contain a high amount of calories and you should try to moderate your intake to prevent weight gain.
*Certain brands have 0g of added sugar for these items.
To categorize all sugar as bad would be an over-generalization, there are many healthy foods that contain sugar and should be incorporated into your diet. Fruits and veggies should be at the top of your list as good sources of carbohydrates and natural sugar. There is more fiber and nutrients in fruit and veggies and the high fiber content helps to slow your digestion compared to low fiber processed foods. However, if you are trying to lose weight, remember that fruit and starchy veggies are higher in calories and you should not overindulge in them on your weight loss plan. Remember the grocery store smoothie from the quiz? It has 44g of natural sugar which is great, but it might slow down your weight loss progress with its higher sugar content!
What we would like for you to take away from this blog is to try to aim for a balanced diet that focuses on quality protein, healthy fats, and minimally processed carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Here at 30/10 Weight Loss for Life, we are committed to educating our clients in nutrition and healthy behaviors that will set them up for lifelong weight management. We are passionate about helping people live their best lives through healthy, delicious food!
30/10 Weight Loss for Life is a comprehensive weight loss program that can help you achieve your goals and weight loss success! Get started with 30/10 Weight Loss for Life by visiting any 30/10 location or call us at (855)-937-3010!