What’s so bad about sugar? Pretty much everything, especially when you consider that sugar can lead to a wide array of diseases that include cancer, diabetes, heart problems, and many others.
Here’s some background information on current levels of sugar intake across the US:
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugars per year.
- That’s the equivalent of 30 to 34 five-pound bags lined up, side by side, on your kitchen counter!
- 150+ pounds of sugar per year is the same as ingesting one-quarter to one-half pound per day.
- Some of the foods and beverages particularly high in sugar content include yogurt, jarred BBQ sauce, jarred spaghetti sauce, fruit drinks, granola, and breakfast cereal.
- To play it safe, Heart.com advises men to limit their daily intake to 9 teaspoons while women should set the bar no higher than 6 teaspoons.
So, what’s a careful consumer to do to effectively cut back on sugar consumption? Here are some tips for the wise:
- Maintain a consistent diet. Eat three meals, two snacks, or five small meals a day. This helps prevent your blood sugars from dropping and feeling hungry when you’re really not.
- Eat whole foods. The closer to its natural form, the less processed sugar a food item will contain. That’s why you should load up on fruits, vegetables, legumes, cold-water fish, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and others.
- A good breakfast. Start your day off right with a breakfast of protein, fat and phytonutrients. Breakfast smoothies are ideal for this purpose, as are simple grain-free granola, spinach and Feta Greek egg back, and cottage cheese pancakes.
- Protein and fat. Make one of both part of every meal to help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Spice it up. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods while reducing your sugar cravings.
- Vitamins help, too. Natural supplements that help control sugar intake are multivitamin and mineral pills, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin D3.
- Move your body. Exercise, dance or do some yoga every day, if possible. Whatever form of exercise you choose, make it something you enjoy so you’re more likely to keep up the habit. Energizing yourself, once again, tends to decrease your need for a sugar boost.
How would you know if you were overdoing it with sugar? Weight gain is the first and most obvious symptom. Others include being hungry all the time, a spike in your blood pressure, feeling constantly tired, and poor skin health.
If you’re experiencing these or any other troubling symptoms, contact MedCare Express today to schedule a complete medical exam. We’re here to help keep you healthy, just like always.