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What Should I Know About Sugar Intake?

Article Details
  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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The average person in America eats approximately 152 pounds (68.94 kg) of sugar every year. Sugar comes in many forms and is present in most foods found on grocery store shelves. People who take in too much sugar on a regular basis, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, are at risk to develop several different diseases. These diseases include, but are not limited too, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and premature aging. There are several things you can do to lower your sugar intake and live a longer, healthier life.

When shopping, check the ingredient labels on the packages. Foods that appear healthy often still contain sugar in various forms. Many foods even have more than one form of sugar. To reduce your sugar intake, look for corn syrup, lactose, maltose, dextrose, glucose and sucrose. If any of these appear at the top of the ingredient list, the food is likely to be very high in sugar. Many of these refined sugars have also been correlated with cancer in lab rats, though it hasn't yet been proven to cause it.

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If you must drink soda or juices, consider switching to the diet or sugar-free variety. It is best not to drink these beverages at all, but many people are hooked on the taste. One can of soda contains approximately 39 grams of sugar. This much sugar at one time causes a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar, resulting in feelings of hunger and a craving for more sugar. Cutting this out of your diet will greatly reduce your sugar intake.

For those who love to snack on cookies or candies, consider eating the sugar-free variety to reduce your sugar intake. Most sugar free cookies and candies are made with maltodextrin or sucralose. These snack foods satisfy your sweet tooth without all the sugar. They must be eaten in moderation, though, as they have a laxative effect in large quantities.

Skipping meals puts people at risk for developing diseases such as hypoglycemia and diabetes. When blood sugar levels drop too low, your body craves sugar. This causes you to go from one extreme to the other, resulting in high sugar consumption. You can lower your sugar intake by eating small meals throughout the day.

Reducing sugar intake is difficult for people with an addiction to it. While some people can slowly wean themselves off sugar, others must stop eating it altogether. Diets such as South Beach are beneficial to those who must simply avoid it. This diet breaks your addiction to refined sugar and helps transition your body to craving natural foods. However you choose to reduce your sugar intake, your health will greatly benefit from it.

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