“How do I break my sugar addiction?”
is a common question I get when I’m leading wellness presentations.
Who can’t relate to intending to have ‘just a few bites’ of a sweet treat like ice cream and then finding themselves scrapping the container bottom? Sugar can be powerful! Studies show it lights up our brains like cocaine does.
We used to associate excess sugar mainly with weight gain, tooth decay and perhaps energy surges. Now we can clearly link sugar overload directly to inflammation and our nation’s diabetes and obesity epidemics. There’s evidence linking it to cancer, dementia and even wrinkles!
One big challenge with reducing sugar consumption is that as it’s added to nearly every manufactured food product available and in astonishing amounts. These common food choices highlight out-of-control sugar content:
· Starbucks caramel frappuccino blended coffee,16 oz: 64 grams sugar or 8 teaspoons
· Cliff Bar, chocolate chip peanut crunch; 20 grams of sugar
· Yoplait Original Yogurt - 6 oz = 26 grams sugar
· KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce - 1 Tbsp = 18 grams sugar
How much, really?
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of added sugar every day; the average child, an astounding 32 teaspoons (128 grams) every day.
The World Health Organization recommends a much lower maximum daily intake:
6 teaspoons for women (24 grams)
9 for men (36 grams)
The FDA’s guideline is to aim for less than ten percent of total daily calories from added sugars.
It's added sugars that are of greatest concern. Sugar found naturally in foods such as fruit and veggies are not harmful. One of the most important steps we can take for our health is to limit our intake of added sugar. The best way to do this is to avoid most processed foods.
I’m all about keeping it simple, so here’s a basic axiom to follow for healthy food choices that are naturally low sugar:
My invitation to you:
Read food labels, paying particular attention to serving size and sugar content.
· Strive for staying below the max daily guideline of 6-9 teaspoons of added sugar
· For food with more than 7 grams of added sugar per serving (considered moderate/low), consider a lower sugar alternative
· For sweetness, nutrients and fiber, turn to food that’s naturally sweet: fruit
· For even more inspiration about reducing your sugar intake, watch this eye-opening documentary by Katie Couric, FedUp: http://amzn.to/2qkdg4M
To your good health!
Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
P.S. If you’re struggling to improve your health and maintain a healthy weight, consider partnering with a whole /health coach for accountability and one-on-one support. Get in touch to arrange your 30-minute no-obligation discovery conversation to find out if coaching is the missing piece in your weight loss and wellness puzzle.
P.P.S. Starting November 10, you can take part in my online whole health support and accountability coaching program “Avoid Holiday Weight Gain (& Save Your Sanity).” Get in touch ASAP for details and to reserve your spot in this limited, special low-cost program!