Sugar is labeled as the notorious villain to the fight on overweight, obesity, diabetes and cavities. But is sugar getting a bad wrap? If you browse through the internet you can find a host of information stating the harmful effects sugar has on the human body. The typical amount of sugar the average American consumes seems to range from 40lbs to 160lbs. So what is the reality? Honestly I don’t think we know. For those in the sugar industry they say the term “sugar” is used as a slang term that extends well beyond sucrose and includes chemical compounds such as high fructose corn syrup. Because of sugar’s use as a slang term the actual amount of sugar consumed is distorted. In addition the direct link from sugar to overweight, obesity, cavities and diabetes isn't as direct as one might think.
For more information read this article: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56589
Numbers aside anecdotal there is a strong connection between consumption of sugar and processed food intake. When individuals make a conscious effort to reduce consumption of sugary and processed foods weight loss occurs. And the changes can be dramatic and range from a loss of 2lb-10lbs per week. This reduction in consumption of sugary and processed foods often is accompanied by a reduction in calories which plays a pivotal role for the weight lost.
When sugar is consumed the body responds with an increase in insulin levels. Often times the body produces more insulin than is needed to handle the consumption of sugar. This is a normal process however, it is important to note that is insulin is a storage hormone. As long as our insulin levels are up we are not burning fat we are storing. So our purpose in reducing the consumption of sugar and processed foods is an effort to help the body burn fat. To take the fat stored in the body, put into the blood stream and send it to the muscles to be burned.
The biggest culprits of sugars in our foods:
- Sodas or pop
- Sweeten fruit drinks
- Candy and cake
- Prepared foods such as ketchup, canned veggies and fruits, and peanut butter
- Low fat products
So how much sugar should you consume? According to the United Nations and World Health Organization 10% or less of the calories consumed should come from sugar. On a 2,000 calorie per day diet that would be 200 calories (or 50 grams). FYI one can of soda will put you over the limit. In practice I find limiting the sugar consumption to 25 grams or less leads to quicker fat loss results.
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