Is Sugar Just Sugar?

Sugar Content on FDA Food Nutrition Label

Sugar is so prevalent in the modern diet that most people don't realize just how much they are eating. In fact, the average American eats about 22 teaspoons of added sugar every day and this sugar intake adds about 350 calories to a person's diet. Given the fact that the USDA is recommending that added sugar intake make up no more than 10% of daily caloric intake, it is clear that we all need to cut back on how much sugar we eat every day in order to be (or become) healthy and in shape.

While sugar is found in natural foods such as fruits, milk, vegetables and healthy grains, we do not really need to worry about these particular sugars. Natural sugars found in real foods contain complex carbohydrates that retain important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. It is sugar that is added to processed foods that need to be eliminated from our diets.

Savory Foods Can Contain Sugar Too

When cutting back on sugar foods, don't just pay attention to obviously sugary foods and drinks such as ice cream, baked goods and soda. Plenty of savory foods contain large quantities of sugar, including bread, prepared foods that contain tomato sauce or vinegar, processed meats and savory sauces such as ketchup and barbecue sauce. While in some cases sugar is added to these foods to prevent fermentation, balance acidity and prevent rotting, it is also typically added to provide additional flavor so that we will keep coming back for more.

Added sugar increases weight gain, robs the body of the calcium it needs to maintain healthy teeth and bones and puts a strain on the immune system. Read the nutrition label before buying processed foods to reduce sugar intake so you can lose weight, boost your energy levels and improve your overall state of health.


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