The mantra of a healthy life is ‘LESS SUGAR BETTER HEALTH’. This This is why many of us wonder about the amount of sugar intake on daily basis. By sugar, we mean white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, sucrose and so on. One must consume sugar in a limit to enjoy a healthier as well as happier life. In fact, for those who want to lose weight fast must limit their sugar intake. This will help them immensely to reach their target weight within a very short period of time. Also, limiting your sugar intake will help you to avoid other diseases too such as diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, obesity and teeth cavities.
What is sugar?
Sugar is a carbohydrate and a major source of calories that our body needs. Carbohydrate is important for our body but overdose can be bad for health. Carbohydrates that come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables are good. However, carbohydrates from sugars such as table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or honey are not considered healthy for the body.
Extra sugars are empty calories with no extra nutritional benefit. Well, it is not easy to avoid sugar completely, but you can definitely limit its intake. According to The United States Department of Agriculture you should have some sugar in your diet to allow few calories in your body.
Well, the answer to the question ‘How many grams of sugar per day to lose weight?’ is pretty tricky. We know that for any weight loss diet you need to restrict your sugar intake. But how much?
Well, as a rule of thumb, the amount of sugar you consume should not exceed 30% of your daily caloric intake.
Amount of calories in sugar:
- 1 cube of sugar is equal to 10 calories.
- 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 15 calories.
- 1 heaping teaspoon of sugar is equal to 25 calories.
- 1 tablespoon of sugar is equal to 45 calories.
According to the American Heart Association:
For women: Limit sugar intake to 100 calories (25 grams) per day which is like 6 teaspoons of sugar.
For men: Limit your sugar intake to 150 calories (37.5 grams) per day which is equal to 9 teaspoons of sugar.
Note: This figure mostly depends on how many calories you need to fulfill your daily nutritional requirements for vitamins, minerals and fiber. Also for those who are diabetic, must consult a doctor to know about their recommended sugar intake per day which is usually less than 10% of their daily calorie requirement.
Excessive consumption of sugar is bad for your health as it:
- Suppress the immune system.
- Upsets the mineral balance of the body.
- Contributes to anxiety and depression.
- Causes kidney damage.
- Increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Interferes with the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- Contributes to diabetes.
- Contributes to osteoporosis.
- Causes food allergies.
- Increases fluid retention.
Within the past six decades, sugar consumption has actually grown by more than 40 pounds for each individual. Sources report that at present, average intake of sugars in the USA is 87 grams per day and according to a recent review, the average child eats 91 grams of sugar each and every day. This is why obesity rates have increased in kids and adults and people are looking for ways to lose weight fast. Experts recommend eating less sugar. Even though sugar is not used much while cooking, still consumption of sugar is more than necessary. This is because sugar is one of the main ingredients of processed foods.
Here is a list of common foods that have added sugar:
- Regular soda, energy drinks, sports drinks
- Grain-based desserts such as cakes, cookies and pies
- Fruit punches and other sugar-sweetened fruit drinks
- Dairy-based desserts such as ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk
- Candy and chocolate
- Refined breads
- Different types of cereals
- All types of desserts
If you have been wondering how much sugar you must eat each day, you should note that sugar is naturally available in foods such as fruits in the form of fructose, and in milk products in the form of lactose. Well, these sugars are good for your overall health, and you must focus on the added sugars that you consume. Added sugars do not provide any health benefits as it does not have any nutrients and instead add excess calories to your diet.
In order to know how much sugar you must eat, you will have to keep a close eye on packaged foods you buy and carefully read their labels. If the packaged food contains the ingredients such as: corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, fruit juice concentrates, malt syrup, sucrose, molasses, sugar, raw sugar and syrup you must not buy it.
If you are serious about how to reduce your sugar intake, here are some valuable tips:
Drink plain water:
Many of us have the habit of drinking sweet drinks like carbonated drinks, syrups and cordials. As a matter of fact, these drinks have added sugar and are also high in calories. This is why sweet drinks are a big NO for those who want to lose weight fast. Instead of such drinks you can always drink plain water. Water has no calories and is good for your overall health.
Use less sugar:
For every cup of sugar indicated in a recipe use less and replace it with an equal amount of non-fat dry milk. This will reduce the sugar level and increase the nutritional value of the dish. You could also use brown sugar instead of white sugar.
Reduce sugar in cooking:
Avoid adding sugar or other sweet ingredients in cooking. Make homemade sauces and toppings with less sugar. Use sugar substitutes in recipes and hot drinks instead of sugar.
Avoid eating snacks and sweet food in between main meals and before bedtime. Instead, eat food that is high in nutritional value like oat biscuits. Try limiting your dessert intake to once or twice a week. When you eat foods that contain added sugars, choose foods that also contain nutrients like vitamins, minerals or fiber.
Choose fruits instead of snacks. Be mindful that fats and sugars are often found together in foods like chocolate, biscuits and cakes making them particularly bad for those who wish to control their weight. Be careful not to replace foods high in sugar with foods high in fat and sodium.
Know what you are buying:
Read the ingredients on the food label and avoid food or beverage products where sugar is listed first or if there is a high percentage of sugar content in that particular food. When reading “Nutrition Facts” labels remember that 7 grams of sugar is equal to around 1 tablespoon of sugar. Choose food and beverages that are labeled ‘less sugar’ or ‘sugar free’. Be a smart consumer.
For those who are on weight loss mission must consider the role that refined sugar plays in our diets and should consume less sugar as much as they can. With less sugar in your diet you can lose weight fast and lead a happier and healthier life.