The Importance of Monitoring Sugar Intake

Sugar may be one of the most delicious ingredients in our food and Americans love their sugar. However, did you know that sugar is also one of the most dangerous and over-consumed ingredients in our diets?

One can of soda contains 10 tsps of sugar and the average American drinks 500 cans every year. That is 52 pounds of sugar consumed in soft drinks alone. Even more shocking when you consider men should consume no more than 9 tsps (37.5 grams) of sugar daily and women should consume no more than 6 tsps (25 grams).

Sugar Needed

Why is it so important to care? 

Many of us don’t even know just how terrible sugar is for our bodies. It can lead to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, a disease that is incredibly difficult and expensive to manage, tooth decay, and it’s even linked to heart disease! Young Women on the Move (YWOM) girls have been doing a lot of research on the subject. Venessa Caraveo found out that “An extra soft drink a day increases a child’s risk of becoming obese by about 60%.” The fact of the matter is, we need to train ourselves to look at those nutrition labels. It’s not just about the calorie content, but the sugar content as well! Even when we’re in a hurry or eating out, it is legally required that restaurants feature this information so you can make the healthy decisions for a healthier future!

An Experiment in Sugar Content

YWOM girls conducted an experiment in which they used sugar cubes to find out exactly how much sugar is in various foods and beverages. Look at these results!

Sugar1 sugar2 Sugar3 Sugar4 Sugar5

 

If one thing should be clear to you at this moment, it’s that we consume a lot more sugar than we even think we do. Yulissa Bañuelos wrote, “Much of this information came as a surprise to me. I think this would also come as a surprise to many other people.”

What Can We Do About It?

The fact of the matter is this:  in the United States, it’s very difficult to avoid over-consuming sugar. It’s in everything. It is common practice for fast food, frozen food, and beverage companies  to use it to bolster the flavor of their products. What you can do is know how much sugar you need a day and look at those nutrition labels. When you think you are reaching your limit, stop consuming.

Instead of drinking soda, drink water or tea! Instead of eating fast food, cook something fresh at home! And always keep your eyes on the portions. By doing this, you can prevent yourself and your family from suffering the lifelong hardships that come with diabetes and obesity. You’ll feel better too!

For more information on reading nutrition labels, go here.