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Too Much Sugar

Posted on 09/30/2014

Why is Sugar a Problem?

There’s simply just too much sugar coursing through most people’s bodies here in the U.S.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the average American consumes nearly 40 pounds of added sugar from sugary drinks like soda pop each year…that is the same as eating more than 7 bags of sugar! Wow, that is just too much sugar and is putting people’s health at risk.

I’m not talking about the naturally occurring sugar found in fruit either! I’m talking the added sugar that is really helping to pile on the pounds on people all across the land. Typically found in cookies and cakes, soda pop, sweetened beverages like teas, juices and coffees. It’s also found in some less than obvious places such as cereals, salad dressings, yogurt and the list goes on and on.

The Problem with 'Good' vs. 'Bad'

First, I must say something a bit controversial…

Sugar in of itself is not bad or the enemy. I’ll say it again, sugar is not bad. In moderation.

I scoff at anyone who says you should eliminate sugar in your diet entirely. How and why, I ask? All in moderation as anything, I say.

The all or nothing mentality I think is harmful to people. Good or bad food labels puts undue pressure on people to be “good” and not misbehave. That is where I think many people say, “Well, forget this! I cannot do it.” And, then they overindulge time and again, only setting themselves up for failure each time. It can be a vicious cycle.

The Sugary Facts

All this added sugar is not good for anyone’s health. We must be more mindful of what we put in our bodies.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day for women and no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugars per day for men. Now, think about this, just one 20-ounce soda pop contains more than that (15 teaspoons)!

Now, the average American consumes on a typical day 23 teaspoons of added sugar equaling a total of nearly 400 extra calories every day. To burn those extra calories, it would take 1½ hours of walking, ¾ hour of biking or jogging or an hour of playing basketball.

After all, it’s calories in versus calories out…if you consume more than you burn, then you’ll gain weight!

Is that soda pop really worth the added weight? Consider that the next time you decide to open a can or unscrew a cap of your favorite soda. You are consuming much more added sugars in other places, and it all adds up.

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Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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