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Sugar Good or Bad? Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity.

Devil's Sugar Cupcake

Photograph by Robert Clark  The downsized cake made its American cookbook debut in 1826.

Photograph by Robert Clark The downsized cake made its American cookbook debut in 1826.

Sugar Sugar Is It Good or Bad? You Be the Judge?

SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Deff Leapard asked for it to be poured on them. The 1970s group called Talking Heads sang about Sugar on their tongue now it is on everybody’s tongue! SUGAR, everybody loves it, and am not talking about smooches on the lips but more like Hershey’s kisses! Oh sugar sounding sweet already huh but on the other hand is one of the major causes of obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and other habitual diseases. Sugar seems to be one of those things we can’t do with or without. Inevitably your body needs some sugar (useable sugar – glucose) to support energy requirements but in excess can also be hazardous to our health. I have personally observed the extent of damage that has be done to the American society (America being my location at the date of writing) and also other countries where obesity is on the rise.

So I started writing this article in the Walmart parking lot after going to Walmart to buy my weekly groceries. While at the customer service desk, the cashier offered me one of her cupcakes she had to which I politely declined. Now this is not being said in a ridicule way but the lady was clearly over weight and for her health should be the last person on Earth eating a cupcake!! I said to myself WOW this is serious. Am sure she would like to lose weight and be fitter but maybe she doesn’t REALLY know the extent to which she is damaging herself. I could not go any further than the parking lot I sat down in the hot summer sun and started to write this article!

How much sugar are we really consuming?

According to the National Geographic (August 2013) americans consume 22.7 teaspoons of sugar per day. To give you an idea of how much sugar that is, it would be equivalent to the natural sugars that come from these foods : 7 apples, 454 eggs,1135 cups of rice and 27 ears of corn. Firstly, that is a lot of food for one person to eat in a single day without suffering serious stomach and ingestion problems but the funny thing or rather the inconvenient truth is that we are consuming “processed” foods of much smaller quantities which are providing us with the same of amount of sugar, and often times more. I consider this an inconvenient truth because it is easy to eat 2x-3x times these food quantities on a daily basis which leads to 2x-3x times the already over consumed daily amount. (See table 2 below for more data) Now to get things into perspective so the average person understands this writing, 1 teaspoon of sugar is the equivalent of 4.2 grams. So the average american consumes 95.34 grams per day which equals back to the 22.7 teaspoons. Statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a daily limit of 9 teaspoons (37.8 grams) for men and 6 teaspoons (25.2 grams) for women. (See table 1 below for more data)

Source : AHA 2011

 Men  Women 

Recommended

Calories

Sugar Intake

 

Calories

Sugar Intake

 

150

9 teaspoons

 

100

6 teaspoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual 2011

 

 

Calories 363

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Intake 22.7 teaspoons

 

 

Did I really eat so much sugar today?

As revealed by the American Heart Association (AHA) it can be seen that the average American is way over the daily calorie and sugar levels. Albeit is easily reached and surpassed by the eating habits of most Americans without even splurging (beer, desserts) or eating sugar itself. (Table 2 below shows you the amount of sugar that can be found in processed foods

Table 2 shows you the amount of sugar that can be found in processed foods.

Source : USDA

Foods ConsumedAmountSugar value (tsps)

 

 

 

Beef and Pork Bologna

4 slices

1.18

Wheat Bread

2 slices

0.66

Lucky Charms

1 cup

2.55

Can of Cola

12 oz

7.93

Ketchup

3 Tablespoons

1.77

Oreo Cookies

3 Cookies

2.49

Lowfat fruit yogurt

8 oz

6.16

Total Sugar value

 

22.74 teaspoons

High Fructose Corn Syrup found guilty!

The major culprit in the American diet I have realized is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is made from processed corn made cheap from government subsidies reason it is the main sugar additive in Sodas, Cereals, Ice cream, Yogurt, Candy bars, Salad dressing among other domestic products. While glucose is metabolized throughout the body, the fructose is processed mainly in the liver into fats, which can build there and also enter into the blood. The resulting risks are obesity, hypertension, insulin, resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Natural fructose is found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables but in excess can also be a health hazard.

Obesity linked with sugar

sugar-good-or-bad-diabetes-hypertension-obesity

So the real solution would be to stay within our daily sugar intake but if we find that a challenge let’s implement these daily practices to help or at least counteract the ill-effects of excess sugar.

Tips

1. Avoid soda & carbonated beverages

2. Be active stay active – exercise or house work

3. Avoid being a couch potato instead go to the parking with the children and run around

4. If travelling in close proximity instead of driving walk, run, or ride the bike.

5. Avoid eating too much sweets – donuts, coke, cupcakes, buns

6. Use natural sweeteners – organic honey and agave; avoid artificial sweeteners – Sweet and low, Splenda, Equal.

7. Implement a controlled sugar diet and stick to it

8. Avoid processed foods get natural sugar from fruits

9. Avoid drinking redbull, monster, 5 hour energy shots. They are packed with insane amounts of sugar.

10. Do not store sweets in the house – Out of mind out of sight

11. Drink lots of water to flush out the body daily.

Fruits stand in the local grocery store

Get natural sugar from fruits.

Get natural sugar from fruits.

Use Natural Sweetners

National Geographic

  • Sugar
    We were smitten 10,000 years ago on the island of New Guinea. Today the average American downs 22.7 teaspoons a day.

Comments

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on November 16, 2014:

Thanks@andrea for your contribution to this article. I find your comment quite informative very important point indeed, if ones would just realize the damage they are doing to their bodies...but am sure the question will be how did I get this sick?? We have been warned take action now, preserve your body and your life.

Andrea S Robinson on November 15, 2014:

Thanks Kevin, information of this type is always welcomed. Unfortunately, not many are aware and/or appreciative. All of the diseases you mentioned start to set in when the liver starts acting up. Excessive sugar is just one of the right ingredients to get the liver acting. It is possible to survive on one kidney, but we only have one liver and without it, we could be history in the making. Your wise word to us is sufficient.

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on November 05, 2014:

Thanks@jamie. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Yes you should be guilty and change up your eating habits haha. If not try do a little exercise and work off some of the excess sugar being eaten. :)

Jamie on November 05, 2014:

Well i sure learned a lot from this article; and now i feel guilty lol

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on November 04, 2014:

Thanks @teaches12345. Am glad you realize the effectiveness of that chart. It hit me too when i was making the article lol i was like WOW! Are we really eating so much sugar...! Good job you avoid those foods, good for you. I will be publishing more about health and stuff....I just wana live and see everyone live healthy..that;s all :)

Tina Franks on November 03, 2014:

Good article! I really didn't realize how much I was consuming but this breaksbit down very well and easily to follow. Thanks for useful information Kev!

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on November 03, 2014:

thanks@yan for stopping by and reading this article.

Dianna Mendez on November 02, 2014:

Your chart on sugar intake really hits home on the danger of eating processed foods. I avoid eating foods with high sugar and salt, it's much better for you. Great message to the masses!

yan on November 02, 2014:

Great article. There is surely a lesson to be learnt here

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on November 01, 2014:

thanks gavin and we have to start now, so we'll experience the results in years to come!

Gavin Cole on November 01, 2014:

Good article... Diabetes also very high in my family so this is a great reminder to avoid sugar in my diet as best as possible.

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on October 31, 2014:

oh great angel. thanks for reading the article. Let me know how your progress goes....let's get healthier and stay healthy!!! yah mon!

AngelMicheleCagle on October 31, 2014:

Great article. Diabetes runs in my family. My grandpa had diabetes and many family before him. Now, my brother has it. I have hypoglycemia. Phil and I both try to be very careful about what we buy and eat. Read a lot of labels. We don't keep sweets in the house except for dark chocolate, sometimes. We do splurge when we go out. One reason we don't go out as much. Exercising has been the best way for us to keep things at a minimum. The more we walk, the less we eat. Plus, it makes us want to drink more water. This article is great in pointing out just how easy it is to consume too much sugar without even knowing it. Things most people assume are healthier, like yogurt, do have a lot of sugar. Artificial sweeteners are horrible for people. I was suffering with a lot of pain in my joints until I read an article that artificial sweeteners may be the cause. I eliminated them and the pain went away. Thank you, Kevin, for posting such a great informative article.

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on October 30, 2014:

thank you kim. If you can inform me of your progress. thanks much...

kim on October 30, 2014:

Great article.

Thank you!!!!!!!!

Some good advice & shows me what i need to work on

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on October 30, 2014:

thanks sharon. slowly follow the suggestion tips i made and then cut it out, it'll be rough but you can do it.......

Sharon on October 30, 2014:

Thank you for writing this. it was very helpful..my biggest problem will be Pepsi...

Kevin Sutton (author) from Gulf Shores, Alabama on October 29, 2014:

That's right sangre...the cereals are really bad. thanks for reading.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 29, 2014:

I think trying to reduce your intake is important in the long run. But in the beginning it's hard to do it. It's those cereals that you really have to look out for.

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