Did you know that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine? It may actually be a major cause of our obesity epidemic, not to mention contributing to a higher risk for certain diseases.  Over consumption of high-fructose corn syrup may even increase risk for heart attack and stroke.

Sugar consumption has only more recently had a spotlight shined on it. During the past few decades experts warned consumers to lower fat intake. Food manufacturers took notice and took the fat out of a lot of items but to help compensate for the loss of taste often associated with lower-fat foods, sugar was increased.

Unfortunately, many consumers are oblivious to the huge amount of sugar they are consuming. Ironically, many who think their sugar intake is low are actually eating pounds of it. Cutting sugar from your diet is quite trendy these days. Many dieters even go so far as to proudly proclaim that they have “stopped eating sugar” all together. Well, in reality that probably isn’t even possible. They naively think that cutting out cake, cookies and candy means that they are no longer eating sugar.

But, sugar is practically everywhere. Do you know how much you are consuming? If you are a typical American, you may be eating 156 pounds per year! That’s how much the USDA says Americans consume each year on a per capita basis. Sure, some of that comes from standard junk food but much of it comes from more “hidden” sources. To significantly reduce your sugar intake, it’s mandatory that you read labels and know where your sugar intake truly comes from. Here are some places where you may be ingesting loads of sugar without even realizing it.

Yogurt: Generally, this is a food that people consider “healthy”. However, unless you choose the Plain flavor, you’ll be getting a lot of sugar. Check the label and you’ll find on average about 20 to 25 grams of sugar in a measly 6 ounces.

Salad Dressings: Salads have always been considered good dieting choices. But, not only can they be laden with fats, but even the healthiest, veggie-packed salads can pack a sugar punch from the dressings that accompany them.

Soft Drinks: Here’s where a huge portion of consumer sugar intake is found. Studies show that soft drinks account for as much as 33% of all added sugars consumed. And if you think switching to sugar-free diet drinks is the answer, hold on. The risk of obesity appears to be higher among diet cola drinkers.

Cereal: Here’s a food that someone can easily overeat. A serving is often only ¾ cup which means most people tend to have at least two servings at breakfast. Plus, cereal is often eaten as a snack as well, and a few handfuls can quickly add up. Many cereals that tout themselves as being healthy have more sugar in them then a candy bar.

Protein Bars: These small little morsels disguise themselves as being packed with protein and all natural ingredients. However, the huge sugar content diminishes their nutritional value. In some cases, you might actually be better off grabbing a chocolate candy bar.

Low Fat and Fat Free Foods: When fat is eliminated from a food often the flavorful taste disappears too. To prevent a low fat food from being too bland, manufacturers regularly add extra sugar to ensure a good taste. So while the fat grams may be low, there are plenty of calories because of the extra sugar.Still think you are NOT one of the average individuals with sky-high sugar consumption? What may appear to be a very healthy diet often still contains very high amounts of SUGAR.

The Evidence…

For Breakfast: 8 ounces of low-fat fruit yogurt and 1 banana = 56 grams of sugar
For Lunch: Lettuce Salad with Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette; Ham sandwich whole wheat bread; 1 can Cola Drink = 35 grams of sugar
Late Afternoon snack: 1 slice of cheddar Cheese and 20 grapes = 16 grams of sugar
For Dinner: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Sauce; Asparagus; 1 low-fat cookie = 31 grams of sugar
TOTAL sugar intake for just breakfast, lunch, dinner and one snack…. 138 grams of sugar

This is a pretty typical daily meal plan that would easily be presented and accepted as being healthy. Yet, the sugar content is sky high. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 26 grams of sugar in a 1,500 daily calorie intake.

The above is MORE THAN FIVE TIMES that recommended amount.

138 versus 26… and let’s face it, the above is not the typical daily intake for most people. The above represents fewer calories, less fat and less sugar than most people are consuming. It’s time to take a serious look at your sugar intake!!

Check out Pace-Maker for more information on how to change your health habits, improve your lifestyle and get sexy-back once and for all… introducing the first of it’s kind, online wellness coaching with YOU mind!

  1. glidingcalm says:

    great post! I usually get too much sugar via salad dressings! otherwise I feel that I am a pretty clean eater, and most my other sugar is from fruit which I don’t eat more than 2-3 servings a day of……which still can be a lot of sugar. The one thing I’d like to find is a good LOW SUGAR bbq sauce! bbq sauce is soo good, yet soooo packed with sugar!

    • You are SO right. Thanks for your feedback! Another brand that I like is called Walden Farms… they have low-sugar/calorie and even calorie free options that may not be all natural but they are organic and helps to avoid ruining the road to your goals! Keep the comments coming 🙂

  2. Christine Wheeler says:

    So true! I recently started tracking what I eat using My Fitness Pal. I was eating a ton of sugars. The first week I had over 600 grams with trying to eat healthier. I reduced it to 500 the next week and last week (my third week), I was around 300. I’m still over the recommended amount, but I’m trying to get my sugars from fruits instead of chocolate and ice cream (it sounds healthier – not sure if it actually is). My husband and I have always said he doesn’t eat sugar (he doesn’t eat candy, ice cream, cakes, cookies, etc.). We tracked his food for a couple of days, and he ate a ton of sugars after all. It was interesting to see how many foods have a ton of sugar that you don’t think of.

    Thanks for the posts!

    • Thanks for sharing that and your feedback Christine! I too try to get most of my sugar from fruits 🙂 it is different from synthetic sugars and even table sugar in that fructose is a naturally occur sugar that is metabolized differently by the body. Let me know anything I can ever help with or provide resources for you!!

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