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We Should Only Be Eating 25 Grams of Sugar Daily, WHO Warns

We Should Only Be Eating 25 Grams of Sugar Daily, WHO Warns

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We already know we eat too much sugar, but how can we decrease our sweet intake?

The World Health Organization is again warning us that we’re consuming dangerous amounts of sugar. Last year, the global organization recommended cutting our daily sugar intake in half, and now the recommendation has become official. A new WHO guideline stipulates that for maximum health benefits, our sugar intake should not exceed more than five percent of our daily energy intake for the day, or about 25 grams of sugar (six teaspoons).

“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese, and tooth decay,” says Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, said in a statement. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.”

When you’re looking to cut down on your sugar intake, don’t underestimate saccharine culprits other than cookies and candy: fruits, fruit juices, granola bars, and even milk can also contain high amounts of sugar. The Daily Meal has published a handy guide to keep you from overdosing on sugary drinks (12 ounces of Coca Cola will set you back 39 grams of sugar, or almost two days-worth in one drink).

12 High-Carb Foods You Should Be Eating More, According to a Dietitian

Adding nutrient-rich carbs to your plate can keep you feeling full and energized.

If there&rsquos one nutrient that takes way more heat than it should, it&rsquos carbohydrates. Lots of fad diets (like the ketogenic diet and Atkins) promote the restriction of carbs for weight loss&mdashbut is that a great strategy for the average person? Not necessarily.

It&rsquos true that some foods high in carbs are not the healthiest choices. Research suggests that those not-so-healthy carbs (known as refined carbs)&mdashsuch as sugary desserts, baked goods, and processed foods like chips&mdashpromote weight gain and increase hunger. Still, not all carbs are created equal, and eating the right type of carb can actually benefit your health greatly.

Carbs (aka glucose) are your body&rsquos primary source of energy. That means you need carbs to power through exercise. Your brain needs carbs to function at its peak. And yes, you need to eat carbs to simply breathe.

The US Dietary Guidelines recommends consuming 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates. So if you eat roughly 2,000 calories per day, 900 to 1,300 calories (or 225 and 325 grams) should come from carbs. That doesn&rsquot mean you can go crazy and load up on all the carbs you want&mdashit simply means you shouldn&rsquot be afraid of adding healthy carbs to your meals.

You&rsquove probably heard of a beneficial nutrient called fiber (it helps keep you full and aids in digestion), but you may not realize that fiber comes from&mdashyou guessed it!&mdashcarbs. This macronutrient isn&rsquot just found in cakes, white bread, and pretzels. Nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and even dairy all contain carbs.

So, ready to ditch your low-carb ways? Here, 12 healthy carbs you should be eating more.

Sweet potatoes have tons of health benefits. Not only does one medium sweet potato contain just 100 calories and roughly 25 grams of healthy carbs, but it&rsquos also packed with eye-protecting vitamin A (up to 6 times your daily value!) and heart-healthy fiber.

Eat it: This sweet orange spud is as versatile as it is affordable. Roast it whole or cubed and add it to salads, microwave it and eat on its own with your favorite toppings, turn it into toast or chips, or mash it for the perfect side dish. Any way you eat it, the sweet potato makes a delicious addition to practically any dish.

Rice has a terrible reputation, but brown rice is actually a really healthy whole grain option because it contains satiating protein and fiber. A 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice has just 120 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 26 grams of healthy carbs.

Eat it: Brown rice is a filling side dish to accompany any protein, and it also makes a great filling for roasted veggies, like peppers or stuffed tomatoes.

This tropical fruit not only tastes like dessert, but 1 cup has over 100 percent of your daily vitamin C, 25 grams of carbs, and more than 1/3 of your daily vitamin A for just 100 calories. Buying fresh mangoes year round is tough, but they are always available in the frozen section (which is great if you&rsquore into healthy smoothies).

Eat it: Mangoes make a delicious snack with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. They&rsquore also a tasty addition to a black bean salad .

This gluten-free whole grain is a breakfast staple that packs a nutritious punch. With 27 grams of healthy carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein in just ½ cup, oats are a filling breakfast option to start your day. They also happen to have a fiber called beta-glucan, which may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk for heart disease.

Eat it: It&rsquos not hard to whip up a batch of hot oatmeal, but why not also try a simple overnight oats or some pumpkin oat breakfast cookies? Oats can also serve as the base for pre-workout bites, which offer tons of flavor and energy.

This gluten-free grain&mdashactually, it&rsquos a seed&mdashhas gone totally mainstream. Derived from the Andes mountains, quinoa boasts an impressive nutrient profile with 20 grams of healthy carbs, 4 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber and 150 milligrams of potassium in just ½ cup cooked.

Eat it: Quinoa is a handy grain for meal prepping, since it freezes well and stays in the fridge for about a week. Whip up a batch to add to porridge or try this hearty quinoa, black bean, and avocado salad.

Beans come in many shapes and sizes, but they all contain a good amount of protein, fiber, and complex carbs. With roughly 7 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbs in ½ cup of canned beans, this gluten-free staple will help keep you full long after eating. As an added bonus, a serving of black beans contains more iron than 3 ounces of flank steak, while red beans are packed with antioxidants.

Eat it: Break open a can of beans, rinse, drain and add to your favorite rice bowl for a complete meal. Or better yet, add them to this flavorful vegetable chili.

It&rsquos time to forget the old adage that you shouldn&rsquot eat anything white and embrace the white potato. These simple tubers serve up about 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, and 860 milligrams of potassium (or almost 20% of your daily needs). Plus, potatoes are a resistant starch, meaning that they help with digestion and reduce your appetite.

Eat it: To get the most bang for your potato buck, skip the fries and roast it up whole or make potato wedges.

A good rule of thumb when choosing veggies is that the darker the color, the more nutrients it contains&mdashand beets are no exception. Their dark purple color means they&rsquore rich in antioxidants, like anthocyanins, betaine, and lutein. Some research suggests that betaine in particular may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Three beets have 100 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and 800 milligrams of potassium.

Eat it: Beets are easy to roast up with some nuts and goat cheese. They make a colorful addition to any salad, or you can spice things up by blending them into a smoothie.

This starchy and sweet root veggie is also a snackable healthy carb. Three large carrots offer about 20 grams of carbohydrates, plus more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin A and 15 percent of your daily potassium needs. If you&rsquore into juicing, the nutrients in carrot juice are also great for your eyes, skin, and immune system.

Eat it: Carrots are a simple salad addition or portable snack, but they also make a delicious roasted side dish.

This peel-able fruit is revered for its sweet taste and shot of potassium. One medium banana has 100 calories and 26 grams of healthy carbs. While they&rsquore higher in natural sugars, they&rsquore also rich in fiber&mdashwhich helps slow the absorption of that sugar into your body. Plus the health benefits of bananas go beyond their ability to make desserts healthier: They&rsquore great for your gut, are the perfect pre-workout fuel, keep your appetite in check, and are heart-healthy.

Eat it: Throw a banana in your gym bag for a quick pre-workout snack. Gone too brown? Check out these five delicious things you can do with overripe bananas.

You may be surprised to learn that dates grow on trees and are actually a fruit! They are inherently rich in sugar, which makes them a good source of complex carbs. In just two Medjool dates, you&rsquoll get 33 grams of healthy carbs and 4 grams of fiber (14 percent of your daily value). Dates contain insoluble fiber (the kind that doesn&rsquot dissolve in water), so they can help ease constipation by adding bulk to your stool.

Eat it: Replace the sugar in baked goods with dates, such as this peanut butter pretzel date balls recipe.

This nutty and versatile grain should be a staple in your kitchen. Just 1/4 cup offers 6 grams of protein, 30 grams of healthy carbs, and 4 grams of fiber for 150 calories. Buckwheat is also high in soluble fiber (the kind that attracts water) which helps slow your digestion to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Eat it: You can cook up buckwheat and serve it as a higher protein substitute for almost any other whole grain, or it&rsquos delicious when roasted into a crunchy granola.

How much sugar should you eat in a day?

Your goal should be to limit added sugar to 10% of your total daily calories to prevent major health problems, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Calorie needs vary from one person to the next, but on a 2,000-calorie diet, that's 50 grams (or 12 teaspoons) per day. However, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and men stay under 36 grams added sugar per day.

  • Swiss scientists warn of the dangers of fructose, found in drinks like Coca Cola
  • Consumption every day for seven weeks doubled fat production in the liver
  • Swiss experts warn of the dangers of fructose (fruit sugar) found in fizzy drinks

Published: 10:46 BST, 18 March 2021 | Updated: 08:42 BST, 19 March 2021

If you're still drinking full fat Coca-Cola, a new study may be the final straw in converting you to the diet variety.

Swiss Scientists have warned that consuming foods and drinks with even moderate amounts of added sugar doubles fat production in the liver.

They found that drinking 80 grams of sugar daily – around the equivalent of two cans of Coca-Cola – caused the increase.

Coca-Cola contains fructose and sucrose, which promote hepatic lipogenesis – the synthesis of fatty acids around the liver – even in small amounts, the experts found.

Worryingly, production of fat in the liver is still sustained even after sugar consumption stops, the experts say, and can increase your risk of fatty liver disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Even moderate amounts of added fructose and sucrose double the body's own fat production in the liver, researchers from the University of Zurich have shown


The amount of sugar a person should eat in a day depends on how old they are.

Children aged four to six years old should be limited to a maximum of 19g per day.

Seven to 10-year-olds should have no more than 24g, and children aged 11 and over should have 30g or less.

Meanwhile the NHS recommends adults have no more than 30g of free sugars a day.

Popular snacks contain a surprising amount of sugar and even a single can of Coca Cola (35g of sugar) or one Mars bar (33g) contains more than the maximum amount of sugar a child should have over a whole day.

A bowl of Frosties contains 24g of sugar, meaning a 10-year-old who has Frosties for breakfast has probably reached their limit for the day before they even leave the house.

Children who eat too much sugar risk damaging their teeth, putting on fat and becoming overweight, and getting type 2 diabetes which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

'Eighty grams of sugar daily, which is equivalent to about 0.8 litres of a normal soft drink, boosts fat production in the liver,' said study author Philipp Gerber of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition at UZH.

'And the overactive fat production continues for a longer period of time, even if no more sugar is consumed.

Fructose, or fruit sugar, is in many sweetened drinks, and is added in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, particularly in the US.

Fructose starts its journey around the body in the intestines, and is delivered directly to the liver, where it is converted into fat.

It's found naturally in many plants and honey, but has become more common in modern diets through refined sugar and corn syrup.

Food and drinks containing high levels of fructose today include apples, grapes, fruit juices, sugary beverages like cola, sweets, and fruit yoghurts.

Coca Cola contains high fructose corn syrup, but diet sodas, like Diet Coke and Sprite Zero, do not and are instead sweetened with artificial substitutes.

Researchers wanted to know if consuming too much sugar had any other harmful effects if consumed regularly – and, if so, which sugars in particular.

It has also been debated whether fructose drives diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

For the study, researchers recruited 94 healthy young men between the age of 18 and 30 years old.

Participants were divided into four groups, each of which drank a different type of beverage every day for a period of seven weeks.

They either consumed a drink sweetened with either fructose, glucose or sucrose (table sugar which is a combination of fructose and glucose), while men in the fourth control group abstained from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.

Need to reduce added sugars

Although sugars are not harmful in small amounts to the body, our bodies don&rsquot need sugars to function properly. Added sugars contribute additional calories and zero nutrients to food.

Over the past 30 years, Americans have steadily consumed more and more added sugars in their diets, which has contributed to the obesity epidemic. Reducing the amount of added sugars we eat cuts calories and can help you improve your heart health and control your weight.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men).

So, what&rsquos a smart shopper to do? It&rsquos tempting to look to alternative sugars as a magical solution. Products made with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or turbinado sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and dextrose, for example, are perceived as healthier choices. Don&rsquot be fooled. Your body sure isn&rsquot! Too much sugar is too much, no matter the source.

It all comes down to how fast the sugars get absorbed. For example, your body spends more time digesting an apple because of the fiber content, so the natural sugar absorbs more slowly. On the flip side, the added sugar in soda arrives all at once in your system like a sugar bomb. All that extra sugar gets converted to calories much more quickly. Not so good for your system!

If you&rsquore looking for no calories, your best option might be a plant-based sweetener like stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are &ldquogenerally recognized as safe&rdquo based on published research, a conclusion which has been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Added Sugar Vs. Natural Sugar

The type of carbohydrate that is easily broken down and digested by your body is referred to as sugar. Some sugar occurs naturally in foods, while other sugar is added to foods to give them a sweeter taste. Foods with naturally occurring sugar include milk, fruit and starchy vegetables like winter squash, peas, corn and potatoes. Although these foods provide sugar, they also provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. The sugar they contain is not added. Identify foods with added sugar by examining the nutrition facts label. Added sugars are listed with the ingredients under names like sucrose, corn syrup and raw sugar. Although all sugar contributes to a rise in blood sugar and must be considered in your total carbohydrate intake, it is better to consume foods with no added sugar for maximum health benefits.

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High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)

Symptoms of high blood sugar may include increased thirst, headaches, blurred vision, and frequent urination.Treatment can be achieved through lifestyle changes or medications changes. Carefully monitoring blood glucose levels is key to prevention.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

If your blood sugars become too low, use these nearby as a quick treatment table sugar, soda, juice, and glucose tablets.

Want To Stop Eating Sugar? Here's How To Realistically Cut Back

I was on my second slice of king cake (of the day) when I realised that I might have a bit of a sugar problem. It wasn’t so much that I was worried about gaining weight, but all the sugar coursing through my veins left me feeling slumped over. With the holidays, I was on a bit of a sugar bender. Dunking the last bite into coffee, I thought to myself, “Man, I need to break up with sugar.” But do I really?

Not if you ask registered dietitian, cookbook author and TV personality Ellie Krieger . “I think most of us would really benefit from reducing the amount of sugar in our diet. But that said, we really don’t have to cut it out completely,” Krieger said. “There’s no reason to go cold turkey on this situation.” (Of course, if you have a medical condition that requires you to closely monitor your sugar intake, you should continue to do so with the guidance of your doctor.)

Sugar is maligned in our culture for claims that it causes hyperactivity or diabetes, but both assertions have been debunked on some level. (For example, sugar isn’t the only thing that causes diabetes. Too much sugar could put you at risk, but there are other factors at play, too.) Still, there is such a thing as too much sugar.

“When we consume carbohydrates, refined foods (like white pasta, white rice and white bread) and chocolate or candy, that’s just sugar in there without protein, fibre or fat,” registered dietitian Lainey Younkin told HuffPost . Ingesting these foods causes a spike in blood sugar, which signals insulin to be released from your pancreas. Insulin carries sugar from your blood to cells for energy, but leftover sugar gets stored as fat.

Let’s say you’re like me, and focused on body positivity, but you still may feel sluggish when you eat too many sweets. So, whether your concern is weight loss or generally wanting to feel better, here are some ways to strike a better balance with sugar, according to the experts.

Understand the difference between natural and added sugar

The goal, Younkin said, is to stay under 25 grams of added sugar per day for women (36 grams for men), per the American Heart Association’s recommendation. The key word is added .

Foods like fruit and yogurt have naturally occurring sugars, but our bodies process them differently because of the nutrients they’re packaged with. For example, an orange has fibre that our bodies break down, allowing the sugar to hit the body more slowly. The fibre also keeps us full, so we’re likely to eat less. But when you drink orange juice, even if it’s made with fresh-squeezed oranges, the sugar is going to quickly hit the bloodstream. And without other nutrients present (besides vitamins), it’ll cause a spike followed by a crash. It also won’t sate your hunger.

Added sugar is found in nearly every processed food, from ketchup to tomato sauce to your favourite chips. Shortcuts in the kitchen are totally valid in our energy-draining world, but it helps to be aware where the sugar in your diet is hiding, so you can make more conscientious decisions when you choose to enjoy it.

Incorporate more whole foods into your diet

One of the best ways to cull added sugar is to focus on eating whole foods. No one is saying you have to resign yourself to a life of salads and cut fruit (unless that’s what you want!). Rather, take a look at your go-to recipes and see how you might be able to reduce the added sugar or swap out a sweetener with fresh fruit. Krieger does this with her mango barbecue sauce, which relies on pureed mango for sweetness and a little bit of molasses to deepen the flavour.

Andrea Mathis, the registered dietitian behind the blog Beautiful Eats and Things , feels similarly. “I love to add fruit to my pancake or muffin recipes. A lot of times I will omit the sugar and just add in the fruit because the fruit is naturally sweet,” Mathis said.

Mathis is also a fan of shaking up the palate by using ingredients that add flavours other than sweet . “If I’m going to make a cocktail or a drink, I’ll use herbs to add flavour without using more sugar. You can also add them to sweet desserts,” Mathis explained. Sometimes she’ll make a cake and use rosemary or thyme to change the flavour profile without missing the sweetness.

Pinpoint your main source of sugar

You might think you’re not eating that much added sugar, but are you considering that daily can of Coke? Or the heavy pours of creamer in your thrice-a-day coffee? That’s what will get you.

Evaluate your diet to see what the main source of sugar is, and swap it out (or see what else you can swap out to better accommodate that treat if it’s what makes you happiest). “For most people, it’s actually beverages. What are your sugary beverages? How can you cut back on that in a way that’s still reasonable for you and that you’re still able to enjoy your hydration?” Krieger said.

Consider adding a splash of citrus juice and sliced fruit (like berries or watermelon) or herbs to filtered water. “Keep it in the refrigerator and it infuses beautifully with no sugar at all,” Krieger suggested. This gets bonus points for being low effort.

Eat enough throughout the day

One important strategy is making sure you eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day. “I find that people are more likely to reach for sugary foods when their appetite is raging because sugar is the fuel that is most quickly absorbed by our cells,” Krieger said.

Use your best judgment when it comes to artificial sweeteners

Before you rush off to buy sugar-free ice cream, consider that artificial sweeteners might not be the best solution. Krieger suggests using sweeteners like saccharine and sucralose sparingly. “It doesn’t help train your taste buds out of that sweet trap and if you use them excessively, we really don’t know the long term implications ,” she said. Have the real deal, but less of it.

Mathis is a fan of stevia and monk fruit sweetener . Both are plant-based, but contain zero sugar and therefore no calories. “I feel like stevia’s a good one because it’s a little bit sweeter than sugar, so you don’t have to use as much, but it is a natural sweetener,” Mathis said. “And there has been some research that it may help to lower blood pressure or it may actually help with your blood sugar, so there are some type of benefits to using that one.”

Remember, sugar isn’t inherently bad

So much of the angst we feel toward sugar is because of how demonised it is in our society. From “ That Sugar Film” to anti-sugar diets , there’s no shortage of sources telling us that sugar is BAD. And if you eat it, YOU are BAD.

While we shouldn’t eat sweets with reckless abandon, it’s important to remember that a food isn’t inherently good or bad . “Yes, some foods are more nutritious for us, forget that idea that you did good or did bad,” Younkin said. “Enjoy it, without guilt, and move on. Because you chose to eat it, and you enjoyed it, so why feel guilty about it? It was your decision.”

To help mitigate those guilty feelings, Younkin suggests thinking about why you’re eating a particular treat. She explained that there are four reasons that we eat: Physical hunger, boredom, stress or cravings (or some combination thereof). So, when you reach for something like a brownie, stop and think about why you want it, and if it’s going to make you feel good.

“One food or meal doesn’t make or break someone’s health or weight loss efforts,” Younkin said. “I think that’s a good thing to remember. People think, ‘If I eat one thing, I’m totally ruined.’ And it’s like, well you eat one salad, you’re not going to lose five pounds in a week from one salad. You’re also not going to gain five pounds from one brownie.”

Best: Share The Sugary Stuff

OK, so you're drinking water instead of soda and attempting to be more selective with foods that contain sugar. Now, for the pièce de résistance: You can still have your cake and eat it, too. “Enjoy dessert,” says Gans. “Just halve it and share with a friend -- or a few friends.” Sharing will not only mean enjoying a decadent treat, but you won’t do nearly as much damage on the sugar front. Make added sugars special-occasion-only, and you’ll be on the right path to cutting your sugar intake.