Sugar consumption has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and most recently to Alzheimer's. As sugar has become a staple in American diets, these particular diseases have seen as steady incline in reported cases. In 2017, American life expectancy declined for the second year in a row for the first time since the 1960's.
Since then, Americans have consumed more and more sugar every year. In a country by country comparison, America eats the most sugar at about 125grams per day. That's about 100 pounds per person every year! The added costs to our health care system from individuals choosing to lead an unhealthy lifestyle is stifling.
Many reports have stated that sugar consumption is just as bad as smoking. Although that fact is heavily debated, there is no doubt that it has a negative impact on our bodies. Nutritionists recommend eating 35 grams of sugar or less per day. This would not include sugar from whole fruits but rather just from added sugar, especially refined sugar, including fructose and corn syrup. Processed foods and fast food often times have a high added sugar content.
Eating too much sugar can also cause an energy crash later in the day. If you often times find yourself getting sleepy around 2pm or craving sweets, it's because lunch could have contained too much sugar and after a blood sugar spike there is a difficult lull. Reducing sugar consumption can level out your energy and keep you from crashing after lunch.
When too much sugar is consumed, the liver can’t process it all for immediate energy storage. When that happens your liver turns the sugar into fat and stores it for later. Repetition of this process causes us to gain unneeded weight which can also gather around our organs decreasing their functionality and making our blood pressure rise, metabolism decrease, and weakens our immune system.
Changing our habits overnight is very difficult to do. Start small and swap a high sugar content snack during the work day with whole fruit or vegetables. Remind yourself to read the sugar content of packaged and processed snacks before buying them and plan ahead for long days of travel by packing a lunch the night before in order to avoid fast food or other processed foods while on the road.
By beginning with small steps like these you may start to notice a difference in energy levels during the day. Sticking with a change for eight weeks is recommended to start noticing a difference. It changes slow over time but is a great step in the right direction for living a healthier lifestyle.