How Much Sugar is Too Much?
Sugar, when it occurs naturally, is a rare form of nutrition that is packed with energy and calories, making it one of the most efficient sources of “fuel” for living organisms. Because of how difficult it is to get in a natural ecosystem, animals, such as humans, have a very positive response to it and try to consume sugar whenever it is available, which can hurt your weight loss goals in Louisville, New Albany, and Lexington.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much
Of course, in the 21st century, sugar is now something that can be easily obtained, in abundance, and we regularly satisfy our “sweet tooth” to enjoy this particular form of energy. But the old saying about “too much of a good thing” certainly applies to sugar, and when we can eat it whenever we want, that can have negative effects on our system. The most commonly known side effect of too much sugar is that it can lead to cavities in our teeth. But, the extra boost of energy we get from sugar is often stored as fat and, day-by-day, year by year; this can lead to gaining weight and even obesity if we don’t control our sugar intake.
So how much sugar is too much for a normal person?
A Little Goes a Long Way
As a super-efficient medium for storing energy, people don’t require a whole lot of sugar in order to get the recommended daily intake. In most cases, people can freely skip taking sugar on a daily basis and still have a healthy diet, since so many of our foods now contain some kind of sugar in them.
According to the 2010 dietary guidelines, the recommended daily caloric intake for average Americans is about 2000 calories. Of that 2000, about 5-15% should be comprised of sugars. In other words, about 100 to 300 calories should come from sugar.
Now, we’re still talking about averages, so these numbers can vary wildly from one individual to next, but statistically speaking, the average American consumes about 800 calories daily that come from fats and sugars. This means that of that recommended 5-15% that is considered healthy in a 2000-calorie daily diet, most people get about 35% of their calories from potential sugar sources.
The biggest danger sugar represents is that it is too efficient, and results in a phenomenon known as “empty calories.” This means that while sugar can provide energy, it doesn’t provide nutrients, and doesn’t feel very filling, especially when used in sugary drinks like soda pop. A person often feels full, and has no desire to eat after a hearty meal.
Conversely, a person can consume multiple cans of soda pop over the course of a day, have that sugar intake converted to fat, and still feel hungry enough to want to keep eating more. This can create a vicious cycle where more and more short term, high energy, high calorie food is consumed, displacing the more nutritious foods with beneficial nutrients beyond just providing a quick energy boost.
The Negative Effects
Consumption of too much sugar can have negatives like the aforementioned cavities, which can require expensive dental treatment. On the more serious side, they can drastically alter blood chemistry, and even lead to potential disorders such as diabetes. Weight gain can also lead to its own set of problems, such as heart disorders and greater vulnerability to other conditions.
This is why it’s important, especially if you’re overweight and wanting to do something about it, to take control of your sugar intake. It can make a real difference to your health and your diet. If you are looking to lose weight in Louisville, New Albany, or Lexington, please contact our team today at Vitality Wellness & Weight Loss for help.