Researchers studied data collected over many years starting in 1988 through 2010. While looking at people’s eating habits, they not only found a strong link between sugar and heart disease but also discovered many American adults eat more sugar than what is recommended for a healthy diet.
According to the study, you can raise your risk of death from heart disease if your daily added sugar calories make up more than 15 percent. That’s roughly 300 calories if you’re on a 2,000 calories-a-day diet. And to put that number into perspective, drinking one 20 oz sugary drink can easily put you over this limit.
We expect to find added sugars in candy, cakes and cookies. But it’s also added to many packaged foods like soups, frankfurters, salad dressings, ketchup and whole grain bread. To help you cut back on added-sugars, here are my prescriptions:
1. Read the ingredient list when grocery shopping. If there is no milk or fruit listed, then all the sugars in that product are added sugars.
2. Added sugars come in many forms. Corn syrup, brown sugar, honey and molasses are all examples of added sugars.
3. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume about 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day and men 9 teaspoons a day.
4. Skip processed and packaged foods. Instead focus on whole, fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
We don’t need sugar for our body to function properly and you don’t gain any nutrients when you eat added sugars. You’re just taking in more calories and this is a concern because too many and you’ll end up gaining weight. And extra weight can lead to health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes.