Sugar Good or Bad? Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity.
Devil's Sugar Cupcake
Sugar Sugar Is It Good or Bad? You Be the Judge?
SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Deff Leapard asked for it to be poured on them. The 1970s group called Talking Heads sang about Sugar on their tongue now it is on everybody’s tongue! SUGAR, everybody loves it, and am not talking about smooches on the lips but more like Hershey’s kisses! Oh sugar sounding sweet already huh but on the other hand is one of the major causes of obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and other habitual diseases. Sugar seems to be one of those things we can’t do with or without. Inevitably your body needs some sugar (useable sugar – glucose) to support energy requirements but in excess can also be hazardous to our health. I have personally observed the extent of damage that has be done to the American society (America being my location at the date of writing) and also other countries where obesity is on the rise.
So I started writing this article in the Walmart parking lot after going to Walmart to buy my weekly groceries. While at the customer service desk, the cashier offered me one of her cupcakes she had to which I politely declined. Now this is not being said in a ridicule way but the lady was clearly over weight and for her health should be the last person on Earth eating a cupcake!! I said to myself WOW this is serious. Am sure she would like to lose weight and be fitter but maybe she doesn’t REALLY know the extent to which she is damaging herself. I could not go any further than the parking lot I sat down in the hot summer sun and started to write this article!
How much sugar are we really consuming?
According to the National Geographic (August 2013) americans consume 22.7 teaspoons of sugar per day. To give you an idea of how much sugar that is, it would be equivalent to the natural sugars that come from these foods : 7 apples, 454 eggs,1135 cups of rice and 27 ears of corn. Firstly, that is a lot of food for one person to eat in a single day without suffering serious stomach and ingestion problems but the funny thing or rather the inconvenient truth is that we are consuming “processed” foods of much smaller quantities which are providing us with the same of amount of sugar, and often times more. I consider this an inconvenient truth because it is easy to eat 2x-3x times these food quantities on a daily basis which leads to 2x-3x times the already over consumed daily amount. (See table 2 below for more data) Now to get things into perspective so the average person understands this writing, 1 teaspoon of sugar is the equivalent of 4.2 grams. So the average american consumes 95.34 grams per day which equals back to the 22.7 teaspoons. Statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a daily limit of 9 teaspoons (37.8 grams) for men and 6 teaspoons (25.2 grams) for women. (See table 1 below for more data)
Table 1 showing recommended and actual sugar intake.
Sugar Intake 22.7 teaspoons
Did I really eat so much sugar today?
As revealed by the American Heart Association (AHA) it can be seen that the average American is way over the daily calorie and sugar levels. Albeit is easily reached and surpassed by the eating habits of most Americans without even splurging (beer, desserts) or eating sugar itself. (Table 2 below shows you the amount of sugar that can be found in processed foods
Table 2 shows you the amount of sugar that can be found in processed foods.
Sugar value (tsps)
Beef and Pork Bologna
Can of Cola
Lowfat fruit yogurt
Total Sugar value
High Fructose Corn Syrup found guilty!
The major culprit in the American diet I have realized is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is made from processed corn made cheap from government subsidies reason it is the main sugar additive in Sodas, Cereals, Ice cream, Yogurt, Candy bars, Salad dressing among other domestic products. While glucose is metabolized throughout the body, the fructose is processed mainly in the liver into fats, which can build there and also enter into the blood. The resulting risks are obesity, hypertension, insulin, resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Natural fructose is found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables but in excess can also be a health hazard.
Obesity linked with sugar
Tips to prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other sugar related diseases.
So the real solution would be to stay within our daily sugar intake but if we find that a challenge let’s implement these daily practices to help or at least counteract the ill-effects of excess sugar.
1. Avoid soda & carbonated beverages
2. Be active stay active – exercise or house work
3. Avoid being a couch potato instead go to the parking with the children and run around
4. If travelling in close proximity instead of driving walk, run, or ride the bike.
5. Avoid eating too much sweets – donuts, coke, cupcakes, buns
6. Use natural sweeteners – organic honey and agave; avoid artificial sweeteners – Sweet and low, Splenda, Equal.
7. Implement a controlled sugar diet and stick to it
8. Avoid processed foods get natural sugar from fruits
9. Avoid drinking redbull, monster, 5 hour energy shots. They are packed with insane amounts of sugar.
10. Do not store sweets in the house – Out of mind out of sight
11. Drink lots of water to flush out the body daily.
Fruits stand in the local grocery store
Use Natural Sweetners
We were smitten 10,000 years ago on the island of New Guinea. Today the average American downs 22.7 teaspoons a day.