One of the leading causes of weight gain for most Americans is the over consumption of added sugar. Statistics state that the average American obtains over 20 teaspoons of sugar which rounds out to about 400 calories.
According to the USDA guidelines of the American Heart Association, 20 teaspoons of sugar per day exceeds recommendations. These added sugars include any form of sweetener that is loaded with calories and not naturally found in nature. Fruit sugar, also known as fructose, is a type of sugar that is converted into energy differently and does not present immediate health concerns. These are okay to include in your healthy diet.
Most sugar added to food unnaturally is in the form of sucrose and should not be included in your weight loss diet. It is lurking in most desserts and sports drinks, as well as all sodas. Sugar does not benefit the body in any way; it only adds useless calories which will ultimately lead to weight gain and even obesity. Being overweight or obese is also a contributing factor for many diseases.
The main role of sugar is to boost flavor and appeal to most Americans’ taste buds. This is why it is marketed and formulated in most junk foods, along with those foods you would not normally associate as sweet like ketchup. Steer clear of cookies, cakes and snack foods with more than seven grams of added sugar, and limit your intake of sweetened beverages. This will ensure you maintain a healthy weight and decrease your chances of heart disease and related diseases.
Written by Adrienne Pellechia, Nutritionist at Camp Shane weight loss camp for kids