I just heard the first Christmas song on the radio yesterday! Yes, the holidays are upon us once again. This is the season for egg nog, cookies, candy, . . . all in excess. That makes it a good time to take a closer look at sugar.
Most of us consume too much added sugar. If you think you don’t, you might want to do a quick assessment.
There are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon. While it is easy to look at packages and see the grams of sugar, it is more difficult to visualize what that amount looks like. For most of us, that number in grams means very little. ” Is that a lot?” we wonder.
And then the next question arises. After you have tallied up the number of teaspoons of added sugar in your diet, what does that mean for health?
There are different recommendations about upper limits for health. Obviously, the less the better. We do not need added sugar for any biological function to work optimally. In fact, added sugars from processed foods appear to increase the risk of heart disease by contributing to increased triglycerides and causing unhealthy cholesterol particles to form.
One recommendation I have read suggests that women should aim to keep added sugars under 7 teaspoons a day (28g), and men should be under 10 teaspoons (40g). Sound easy? Start looking at packages and watching the sugar you add to food (and beverages!) yourself. You may be surprised.
If you are already meeting the recommended amount, look at this as a way to pat yourself on the back for a job well done. There can never be too many opportunities for that!