Sugar is ever-present in most foods the average American consumes. We understand that it is important to avoid sugar as much as possible, the astonishing facts about sugar remain unseen. When researching diets and foods, sugar is a deep topic that one has to extensively look into. The facts about sugar are highly confusing. Some sugars are really bad for you, while others are okay to eat. Sugar is bad for your diet, but still a natural ingredient. You should avoid sugar at all costs but still cook with alternatives.
The fact is that sugar is one of the best spices. It is sweet, addictive, and makes every meal that much better. But as we know, sugar has also become a serious problem in the American diet. It is sprinkled onto everything, and some of it is not sugar from sugar canes! So we try to look for alternatives to complement our diets like honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc… However, these are not sugar replacements, but still indeed sugar. So what makes sugar so bad for you? Why does it taste so good? And how much sugar is too much sugar?
The American Heart Association, explains that the reason some sugars are better than others is the rate your body digests them. For example, an apple takes more time to digest because of the fiber, rather than a carbonated drink like soda which is a quick shot of sugar. Therefore soda is more quickly digested, thus overwhelming the body with a heavy dose of sugar and converting that sugar into calories more quickly. This is why some sugary foods and drinks are better for consumption than others. They are not all made the same.
Still, even if we are eating a soda or an apple, too much sugar is too much sugar. Naturally, an apple only contains around 20 grams of sugar, while soda contains about 40 grams. The American Heart Association adds that on average women ought to consume around 25 grams of sugar per day and 36 for men. However, the average American easily consumes well over this amount (around 88 grams of sugar per day).
So what makes sugar so addictive? According to Healthline, sugar activates opiate receptors in our brain, releasing dopamine. This makes sugar function as a sort of drug, where more gets consumed, and more dopamine gets released.
However, this is not to say we ought to stop consuming sugar altogether. Sugar gives amazing flavors to our favorite bakery products like cookies, muffins, and brownies. It is however important to be conscious of our sugar intake and what sugars we decide to intake. Sugar is still an important part of our diets and gives flavors a whole different meaning. By staying aware and reading the back of products we can hopefully stay on the right track in our nutrition. So we invite you to enjoy your delicious snack, while practicing a well balanced diet.