Sugar consumption is on the rise. According to diet surveys conducted by the USDA, the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Added sugar does not include sugar naturally found in milk and fruit. This is double the USDA’s recommendation that the average person eat no more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
Sugars, in moderation, are part of a healthful diet. Whether naturally occurring or added, sugars can make many nutritious foods even more appealing by adding taste, aroma, texture and color. Aside from their role in tooth decay, sugars in moderate amounts have not been directly linked to chronic health problems.
One may wonder what the problem is with indulging in something sweet occasionally. The answer is that, for most people, there is no problem. However, many people eat large quantities of sugar regularly, rather than occasionally.
Twenty teaspoons may sound like a lot of sugar to get through in one day. But consider the following:
- A 12 ounce Pepsi contains 10 teaspoons of sugar
- A 2 ounce package of candy contains 11 teaspoons of sugar
- 8 ounces of lemonade has nearly 7 teaspoons of sugar
- A cup of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal provides more than 4 teaspoons of sugar.
It is surprising how fast it adds up. While there is certainly nothing wrong with having moderate amounts of sugar in your diet, there’s a problem when high-sugar, low-nutrient food, such as soft drinks or candies, replaces more nutritious food such as fruit.
Conditions that suggest Excess Sugar Consumption
Eating a lot of foods high in refined sugar increases blood lactate levels and may induce panic in susceptible persons.
Risk factors for Excess Sugar Consumption
Sugared soft drink consumption
Soft drinks generally represent the single largest source of added sweeteners to our diet. They account for one-third of all calories we consume from added sweeteners, which for the average American adds up to more than 23 pounds of sugar from 47.4 gallons of soft drinks annually. An average 12 ounce can has 9-12 teaspoons of sugar, and the average teenage boy consumes 868 cans per year. This is how teens get 15 of their 34 teaspoons of sugar each day.
(High) refined sugar consumption
Frequent/daily use of ice cream
High fructose intake
Minimal fructose intake
History of adult acne
Excess Sugar Consumption can lead to
The high consumption of sweetened food and drink increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet. A heavy intake of fizzy drinks, creamed fruit and sugar in coffee are three common ways of increasing the risk.
Pancreatic cancer is a very serious form of cancer that is possibly caused when the pancreas produces heightened levels of insulin as a consequence of upset glucose metabolism. A well-known way of increasing insulin production is to eat a lot of sugar. Scientists have now, for the first time, shown that the consumption of sweetened food and drink affects a person’s chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
The study began in 1997 when scientists ran a dietary survey of almost 80,000 healthy women and men. This group was subsequently monitored until June 2005. According to the cancer registry, 131 people from this group had developed cancer of the pancreas.
The researchers have now been able to show that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is related to the amount of sugar in the diet. Most at risk were those who drank high quantities of fizzy or syrup based (squash) drinks. The group who said that they drank such products twice a day or more ran a 90% higher risk than those who never drank them. People who added sugar to food or drinks (e.g. coffee) at least five times a day ran a 70% greater risk than those who did not. People who ate creamed fruit (a product resembling runny jam) at least once a day also ran a higher risk, They developed the disease 50% more often than those who never ate creamed fruit.
“Despite the fact that the chances of developing pancreatic cancer are relatively small, it’s important to learn more about the risk factors behind the disease,” says Susanna Larsson, one of the researchers involved in the study.
Recommendations for Excess Sugar Consumption
While Equal™ and Saccharine continue to dominate the non-caloric sweetener market, a remarkable herb called Stevia remains relatively unknown. Anyone who suffers from blood sugar disorders or who need to limit their caloric intake needs to know about the remarkable properties of Stevia. Stevia offers an ideal alternative to other sugars or sugar substitutes. This herb also has numerous therapeutic properties and has proven to be safe and effective for hundreds of years.
Many resources are available to help break this bad dietary habit.
Lick the Sugar Habit and Lick the Sugar Habit Sugar Counter: Discover the Hidden Sugar in Your Food by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
Sugar Blues by William F. Dufty
Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar in Any Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman
The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons Ph.D. (Hardcover)
Fruit can often be used as a natural replacement for sugar, for example raisins or dates to sweeten baked goods, bananas on cereal, or pure fruit juice to replace soft drinks and thus avoid the refined sugars within.
Whenever you feel thirsty, consider substituting Water for sweet drinks. Water is far better at satisfying thirst, and by washing sugar from the teeth can neutralize its effects.
One common use of acupuncture is to control various addictions. In the case of people who feel their sugar cravings or other food cravings are out of control and want to cut down on these foods, acupuncture can be very useful. Professionals who deal with addictive behavior do not expect will power alone to be effective. The first thing you can try with a sugar craving is to substitute naturally sweet foods for sugar-added foods. Try eating dates, apples, sweet potatoes, squash or dried fruits when your sweet tooth acts up. If this doesn’t work, then consider acupuncture treatments.
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United States Department of Agriculture
(tsp) Equivalent to 5cc (5ml).
Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
The main form of fat found in foods and the human body. Containing three fatty acids and one unit of glycerol, triglycerides are stored in adipose cells in the body, which, when broken down, release fatty acids into the blood. Triglycerides are fat storage molecules and are the major lipid component of the diet.
Common form of arteriosclerosis associated with the formation of atheromas which are deposits of yellow plaques containing cholesterol, lipids, and lipophages within the intima and inner media of arteries. This results in a narrowing of the arteries, which reduces the blood and oxygen flow to the heart and brain as well as to other parts of the body and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or loss of function or gangrene of other tissues.
A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.
The term 'refined sugar' includes not only the “sugar” listed in ingredient listings, but also brown sugar, glucose, fructose and dextrose. Obvious sources include jams and jellies; hidden sources are often mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and other condiments.
Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.
A sugar that is the simplest form of carbohydrate. It is commonly referred to as blood sugar. The body breaks down carbohydrates in foods into glucose, which serves as the primary fuel for the muscles and the brain.
The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.