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From There to Here, and Here to There, Sugar is Everywhere!

Sugar is EVERYWHERE! Every year Americans are eating more and more sugar and the statistics are staggering! In 1900, the average person ate 70 pounds of sugar each year.  One hundred years later we have more than doubled our intake.  On average Americans eat 156 pounds of sugar every year!

To put that in other ways, 156 pounds per year equals:

  • 31 five pound bags of sugar for each one of us
  • 52 tsp per day
  • 3 pounds or 6 cups per week

Many of you reading this may be thinking…not me, I don’t add sugar to my food! Shockingly only 18% of the sugar we eat is in the form of sucrose (table sugar) or willingly added by us.  That is only 29 of the 156 pounds!  The remaining 127 pounds is either overt or hidden in our foods.   Sodas and other sugar beverages as well as “junk” foods and desserts are clearly high in sugar, however many foods have large amounts of added sugars that consumers don’t realize. Foods such as peanut butter, cereals, tomato sauce, salad dressings, and sauces to name a few are loaded in sugar!  Sugar has many names and  many not even recognize many of the 56 forms used in our foods.  Common names include:

  • Words ending in “ose” such as fructose, maltose, dextrose
  • Honey
  • Agave Nectar
  • Syrup
  • Cane juice or sugar
  • Corn Sweetener
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Molasses
  • Turbinado

The best way to decrease the amount of sugar you are consuming is to READ labels and ingredients.  Remember ingredients are listed from most to least, so the first couple of ingredients are found in the highest amounts.  My recommendation is to avoid any of the aforementioned words or known sugars in at least the top 3-5 ingredients.

Sugar is highly inflammatory.  Decreasing your sugar intake will lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and auto-immune disorders and improve your quality of life.  If you like to read more on the importance of blood sugar control, read my article on Blood Sugar Isn’t Just For Those with Diabetes.

The information provided in this post is for education only and is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor should it be used as a replacement for seeking medical treatment.
Copyright © Jaime Coffey Martinez, Nutrition CPR, LLC