Sugar can cause weight gain, tooth decay and symptoms of high blood pressure. Adults and children typically over-consume “free sugars”. These include:
- sugars that get added to food or drinks, like those found in pop, chocolate, flavored yogurt, breakfast cereals, and cookies
- sugars in syrup (agave, maple), vegetable juices & smoothies, nectars, unsweetened fruit juices. Despite occurring naturally, these are still considered “free sugars”
sugars found naturally in fruit, vegetables and milk do not count as free sugars. Despite being included on the “total sugar” figure on the back of food labels, these are not sugars you necessarily need to cut down on.
What is the right amount of sugar to eat?
“Free sugars” as listed above shouldn’t comprise more than 5% of your daily calories. To potentially cut down on free sugars, watch your intake of cakes, cookies, sweets, chocolate, pop and juice. Though it may seem like an innocent indulgence, a single can of coke contains the equivalent of 9 sugar cubes. Pay attention or risk getting high blood pressure.
HOW TO CUT DOWN YOUR SUGAR INTAKE
- instead of drinking pop, try water
- limit your juice and smoothie intake
- reduce the amount of sugar you add to coffee or breakfast cereal
- when drinking fruit juice, dilute 50% of it with water
- replace jam, marmalade, syrup or chocolate spread with a sliced banana or margarine
- consult labels and do grocery shopping with an eye for low sugar content
- choose cereals that are whole grain and unsweetened
SUGAR ON LABELS
When looking for sugar content, check the carbohydrate section on the back of boxes. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum sugar intake of 25g per day or 5% of a 2000 calorie/day diet.
WORDS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Words on the back of the box that can suggest inclusion of free sugars are:
Fructose, nectars, molasses, treacle, brown sugar, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate/purees, corn syrup, crystalline sucrose, maltose, dextrose
SUGAR CAN MAKE YOU OBESE
Due to high calorie content, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity. This increases your risk for high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. When asking yourself what causes high blood pressure, pay attention to your sugar intake.
Worried that you’re consuming too much Sugar? Check out these SUGAR REDUCTION TIPSShare With A Friend