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Limiting sugar is a sweet victory in the
Mind, Body & Spirit - 2018
battle for good health
The healthcare community is in- creasingly pointing to sugar as one of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic that has
affected North America. More so than fats, sugar may contribute to a number of conditions that affect overall health. The scary part is that sugar may be lurk- ing in foods that people would not think of as “sugary.”
The average American eats between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugars per year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Approxi- mately 50 percent of U.S. adults drink onesugarybeverageperday,andnear- ly 63 percent of children between the ages 2 and 19 consume at least one sug- ar-sweetened beverage per day accord- ing to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data from Statistics Canada states that Ca- nadians consume roughly 110 grams of sugar each day.
Sugar occurs naturally in various foods, but added sugar, sometimes ref- ered to as “refined sugar,” is turning up in many places, increasing the average per- son’s sugar intake as a result. The World
Health Organization’s official nutrition advisors state that only 5 percent of one’s daily calorie intake should consist of sugars. This equates to approximately 30 grams per day. Children should have less — no more than 19 to 24 grams per day, depending on their ages. However, each day people are consuming more and more.
For those who think avoiding a slice of cake or skipping soft drinks is enough, consider these somewhat hidden sourc- es of sugar, according to the health ex- perts at Prevention.
• Barbecue sauce: Grilling time means foods laden with flavorful barbecue sauce. Many barbecue sauces contain up to 13 grams of sugar per two table- spoons.
• Fruit-flavored yogurt: Eating yogurt can be a healthy part of a diet, but not when it is full of sugar. One container of fruit yogurt may contain up to 19 grams of sugar.
• Granola bars: These convenient snacks can pack a sugary punch. One bar can boast 12 grams of sugar.
• Salad dressing: Dousing healthy sal- ads with dressing may increase caloric
intake and sugar consumption. French, Russian and Thousand Island dressings, for example, often have high amounts of sugar per serving size — some as many as 9 to 10 grams per serving.
• Frozen foods: In addition to high levels of sodium (used as a preservative), fro- zen entrees may have as many as 30 to 40 grams of added sugar per serving.
• Energy drinks: The pick-me-up energy drinks provide is largely fueled by sugar and caffeine. Some of these drinks can have a whopping 83 grams of sugar.
Reading product labels is the easiest way to see how much sugar is lurking in foods. While not all sugar is bad, and naturally occurring sugar-based carbo- hydrates can help supply ready energy to active muscles, most sugar is made of empty calories that can pack on the pounds. According to Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of “The Hunger Fix,” refined sugar also can cause cells to age more quickly and lead to excessive inflamma- tion, which increases one’s risk for many diseases. Reducing sugar intake is an important component of a healthy life- style.


































































































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