Why be a Sugar Donkey?
The average consumption of sugar in the U.S. is 22.6 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is over 70 pounds per year. And, some sources report we are eating over 150 pounds per year! You don't need that on your back, or your metabolic system. This much sugar makes you into a beast of burden - and the real burden is the disease sugar breeds in such large amounts.
There are recommended daily limits to added sugar (USDA says no more than 10% of total daily calories). and if you stay well below these uppermost limits, you could still enjoy an occasional cookie, slice of birthday cake, or another treat. However, don't be beat by treats! Dessert isn't dessert if you are eating dessert several times per day...which is what happens when sugar is added to most of the food supply (see chart below). When sugar is hiding in everything, you have to stay sharp, read labels, and try to keep it to a minimum. If it has a label, it is a warning label! Focus on real food.
In Sweet Revenge: Turning the tables on processed food, Dr. Robert Lustig provides simple suggestions on how to cut down your sugar intake to levels that won't have such a negative impact on your health. Chronic diseases account for 75% of health care costs in the U.S., most of which are preventable and diet-related.
Oh what a difference 10 days can make!
In a study conducted by Dr. Lustig and a team of researchers at UCSF, sugar was restricted for 10 days - to under WHO/AHA guidelines for added sugar. His research team restricted *fructose in the diets of African American and Latin American children for just 10 days, with no reduction in calories. They ate the Standard American Diet - minus the sugar. Their liver fat reduced by 29.5%, diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5 points; baseline blood levels of analytes associated with metabolic disease, such as lipids, liver function tests, and lactate (a measure of metabolic performance) all improved significantly; fasting glucose decreased by 5 points; glucose tolerance improved markedly; and fasting Insulin levels fell by 50%. In sum, virtually all aspects of their metabolic health improved. The metabolic improvement was unrelated to their caloric intake, and unrelated to changes in weight or body fat.
Why not consider taking our 10 Day Real Food Challenge, and seeing how much better you feel without all the sweet stuff and processed foods? You might be surprised what a difference 10 days can make!
You don't have to give up dessert!
#dessertworthy is a social media movement to empower individuals to make healthier lifestyle choices and to be mindful of their dessert and sugar indulgences. Why does #dessertworthy matter? Dessert is being consumed by adults and children at an alarming rate, resulting in troubling health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Instead of dessert being a special treat, we are consuming dessert several times a day.
Compelled to take action, award winning pastry chef Emily Luchetti launched #dessertworthy in July 2014 to raise awareness about sugar laden processed foods and to encourage saving desserts for a treat, not a daily occurrence. Ms. Luchetti is Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group and Board Chairman of the James Beard Foundation.
*Fructose: The heavy consumption of one particular type of sugar, the monosaccharide fructose, adversely impacts human health, beyond and unrelated to its caloric equivalent, in many ways paralleling the health harms associated with alcohol overconsumption. Fructose (50% of table sugar and typically 55% of high-fructose corn syrup, although concentrations range up to 90%) is a specific cause of increased energy intake, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome. The hepatic metabolism of fructose qualitatively and quantitatively resembles that of alcohol, by promoting: (1) hypertension via uric acid production and lowering nitric oxide; (2) dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis through excessive de novo lipogenesis and defective lipid oxidation; (3) skeletal muscle insulin resistance and oxidative stress; (4) hepatic insulin resistance and inflammation; and (5) hyperglycemia via hepatic gluconeogenesis. Source: Towards Evidence Based Policies for the Reduction of Dietary Sugars: Lessons from the Alcohol Experience
Where do we get all that added sugar from?
Source: USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Working Group on Added Sugars. The 2015 scientific report of the USDA/DGAC is published here.
Annual Sugar Consumption in the United States, according to the USDA Food Consumption in America Report
Source: USDA’s Economic Research Service