Do You Know the True Dangers of Sugar?
Do you eat too much sugar? According to the US Department of Agriculture, the typical American eats over 5000 tablespoons of sugar each year, or the equivalent of 150 to 170 pounds of sugar! While there are different types of sugar–some occurring naturally such as in fruit–most experts agree that we are eating too much of it overall. The particularly concerning type of sugar is added sugar, which has no benefit to our health and can contribute to weight gain. Eating too much added sugar can lead to serious health conditions, even in people who are not overweight. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that eating too much sugar can even increase the risk of dying from heart disease, regardless of body weight. A key statistic from the study was that over the course of 15 years, participants who took in 25 percent or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10 percent added sugar.
The biggest source of sugar in the typical diet is sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks. To put it in perspective, a 12 ounce cola has 9 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that men consume less than 150 calories of added sugar per day (about 9 teaspoons) and women consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons). So, one cola would be the sugar limit for the entire day for a man, and more than the daily recommendation for a woman.
While most people know that soda has a lot of sugar, some sources of sugar can be trickier. Some hidden sources of sugar include canned fruit, white wine, BBQ sauce, frozen dinners, granola bars and yogurt. For example, canned fruit is often packed in sugary syrup, which is really calorie-laden high fructose corn syrup. One cup of canned fruit can have 30 grams or more of sugar–the equivalent of seven Oreo cookies!
Some other names for sugar to be on the watch for on your nutrition labels are: anhydrous dextrose, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sugar, syrup and white sugar. Other types of sugar you might commonly see on ingredient lists are lactose, fructose, and maltose. Lactose is milk sugar; fructose is sugar derived from fruit and vegetables; and maltose is sugar that comes from grain. While these are natural forms, it is good to be aware of all the various sugars you’re taking in each day.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can eat a healthy and flavorful diet while avoiding added sugars, our knowledgeable team at Olde del Mar Surgical is happy to help. You can schedule your consultation today at 858.457.4917 or visit our website to learn more about our medical weight loss program and the various weight loss procedures we offer.