Sweet or sour? (part 1)
This article concerns sugar and sugar products added to food, not naturally occurring sugars such as those found in fruit.
The annual sugar consumption per person has risen from 124 pounds in 1970 to 170 pounds in 2008 (USDA statistic). Often, these numbers are a bit inflated because they are based on production and sales, and the USDA has no way of measuring actual consumption. Some product is wasted or disposed of due to shipping or a number of other variables. Let us err on the conservative side and assume each person consumes 150 pounds of sugar per year.
We do some simple math…carry the 1 and that is about 750 calories from sugar per day. Most nutrition labels will read, “based on a 2000 calorie diet” at the top of the label. If 750 of your daily calories come from sugar, that represents over 1/3 (33%) of your total calories (actually it is 37.5%). 33% represents way more than the little tip of the pyramid we are all too familiar with from grade school.
If you are consuming 750 calories from sugar, chances are you are eating more than the 2000 recommended. These excess calories equal fat, and the damage excess sugar does to the balance of the human body is another article. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar for men and 20 grams for women per day. One can of most sodas contain more than 40 grams of sugar. Pay attention to your nutrition labels and look for sugar additives if the grams are not given.
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