(WECT) - The amount of sugar you eat each day will likely shock you.
January 14-17 is National Sugar Awareness Week. It’s a five day challenge encouraging others to give up sugars and sweets to learn how it affects you.
Sonia Kennedy, a registered dietitian and owner of Nutrition in Motion in Wilmington, says sugar is more addictive than drugs. She says there is research to prove it thanks to a combination of sugar, fat, and salt that is put in a lot of foods today that keep people coming back for more.
“Our diets are just too high in sugar or too high in simple carbs" says Kennedy. “and because of that, they’re not having the proper protein-to-carb ratios so what will happen are blood sugars will spike and overtime you keeping doing that and you’ll make your pancreas mad so you can cause diabetes because of that and also the spikes in blood sugars can cause people to overeat.”
Kennedy says reading labels is important. Sugar is in almost everything we eat, but sometimes it’s not spelled out right on the label. All of the ingredients listed below are added sources of sugar:
- brown sugar
- corn sweetener
- corn syrup
- fruit juice concentrates
- high-frutose corn syrup
- invert sugar
- malt sugar
- raw sugar
- “ose” works - dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose
- evaporated cane juice
Sauces, dips, cereals, yogurts, and juices are some of the types of food you can find a lot of added sugar. Women shouldn’t consume more than 25 grams or six teaspoons of sugar a day while men shouldn’t have more than 37.5 grams or nine teaspoons of sugar a day, according to Kennedy.
“Some of the diagnosis of that people don’t associate with an over-consumption of sugar" says Kennedy. “Obviously, cavities. A lot of people forget about poor skin: it can cause acne. It’s causing kidney damage, higher rates of cancer, diabetes. There are a lot of reasons to limit the sugar to what the recommendation is.”
The best way to avoid sugar: keep control of your sweet tooth. Keep yourself full with a lot of fresh vegetables and protein. Avoid sodas and drink more water. If you absolutely need sometime sweet, add some peanut butter to plain greek yogurt to dip apples in or have a small piece of dark chocolate right after a meal.