America’s love affair with sugar really began to take off in the late 1950s. Televisions became more common in households, launching a new and very successful advertising genre along with a dubious category of food: TV dinners. Kids (and their parents) barely stood a chance. Soon, the demand for highly processed (that’s short for chock full o’sugar) convenience foods was skyrocketing.
Today, Americans consume an estimated average of 130 pounds of sugar per capita annually. Increased sugar consumption contributes to obesity, which in turn contributes to the development of Type II diabetes. The consumption of added sugars has also been linked to chronic illnesses from diabetes and cancer to heart disease.
Even though we know it’s bad for us, it’s as if we can’t help ourselves. How did we get into this mess?
Considering the highly addictive nature of sugar and the fact that it’s routinely added to an insanely large number of food products, it’s no wonder we’re all hooked. Our growing waistlines and rising obesity rates are testimony.
While breaking up with sugar can be hard to do, here are the main areas where excess sugar can hide in your diet. Cut down on these and you’ll be headed towards better health.
The three top sources of added/excess sugar in the American diet:
1/ Soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks
2/ Grain-based desserts like cakes and cookies
3/ Fruit juice drinks
Unexpected Hiding Places for Sugar:
Ketchup and other condiments
Added sugars can be natural or organic, but that doesn’t make them good for us. Agave nectar, brown rice syrup, and other sweeteners touted as healthier alternatives have same effect on blood glucose levels as white sugar. It’s all still sugar – empty calories with no nutritional value. Honey falls into the same category and must be consumed in moderation.
Studies show that the body can’t distinguish the difference between “real” sugar and artificial sugars, so low-calorie artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are not any better, and there are concerns about their long-term use.
Bottom line: read nutrition and ingredient labels carefully, and say no to added sugars whenever possible.
Ready to make a change? Call 844.MV4.LIFE and start your transformation.