How to Manage Your Daily Intake of Added Sugar


Label for No Added Sugar

While sugar may seem harmless, many Americans do not realize how much sugar they consume in the course of a day. Studies indicate that the average American consumes an additional 350 calories per day in sugar hidden among the ingredients of processed foods. For those trying to manage a healthy diet or lose weight, these calories can be detrimental. Further, processed sugars are a source of simple carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and fail to reduce hunger signals. With sugar lurking in many foods that you wouldn't expect, it is important to keep track of your sugar intake.

How does all this extra sugar sneak into our diets? Even if you aren't consuming sugary snacks and treats, many processed foods include sugar (called added sugar) in their ingredient lists. In acidic or vinegary foods, sugar can reduce sourness. Sugar is often included in bread to help it rise, or is used to bulk out or add flavor and texture to a variety of foods. Added sugars can do some serious damage to your weight loss goals and attempts to maintain a healthy diet. Because the USDA recommends that sugar intake be less than 10 percent of an adult's diet, added sugar can add up and lead to health and weight problems.

One way to avoid unnecessary sugars is to eat natural, real, and unprocessed foods. Fruits, for example, have sugar in the form of fructose but also include complex carbohydrates and other important nutrients. These sugars are easier for the body to use, and can help your body function properly. For more information on healthy sugar intake, the Metabolic Research Center has information on nutritional and healthy diets.

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