Recently, a lot of attention has been directed at just how devastating sugar can be for our health and wellbeing, and more people have started paying attention to how much sugar they are allowing in their own diets. Following weight loss surgery, many people make the choice to avoid sugar entirely to make sure they are maximizing their intake of healthier nutrients.
If you want to lose weight and improve your health, then cutting out sugar makes sense. Here are a few troubling facts that make reducing sugar consumption in the American diet so important:
- According to a statement from the American Heart Association, high sugar intake is linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The few available studies that attempt to discredit the link between sugary beverage consumption and health consequences have been primarily funded by the beverage industry.
- The average American adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar every day, which amounts to about 355 calories that are completely devoid of nutritional value. Though this comes from the usual suspects like table syrup and honey, the prevalence of food and drink processed with high fructose corn syrup has also been a major contributor.
- According to the USDA’s Economic Research service, average daily calorie intake has increased by about 425 since 1970, with between 16 and 17 percent of calories coming from added sugar. Though sugar consumption has gone down 40 percent since the 70’s, increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup has more than made up for the reduction.
- Weight gain caused by sugar consumption can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the liver, which lowers your body’s ability to control blood sugar and forces your liver and pancreas to work harder. High amounts of fructose in the liver (which come from sugar and high fructose corn syrup) can cause complex biochemical reactions that lead to serious health concerns.
Though companies and advocacy groups with a vested interest in reducing the demonization of sugar make attempts to convince Americans of its minimal impact, the research is straightforward.
Recent studies showed a direct link between excessive intake of sugary food items and high blood pressure, while further study revealed that a reduction of that consumption resulted in a reduction of blood pressure. New studies are released that consistently reinforce the idea that the levels at which we consume sugar make the stuff toxic.