Imagine eating your own body weight in sugar! Even those with a sweet tooth or a secret sugar addiction may cringe at that thought, but the truth is that most Americans consume at least 128 pounds of sugar every year and need to reduce sugar intake for their health’s sake.
Take the Sugar Addiction Test
- If you reach for just one cookie, is the bag empty before you realize it?
- Are you lacking energy and tired all the time?
- When you feel hungry do you snack on doughnuts, chips, candy and ice cream?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you are definitely hooked on sugar and salty snacks that are engineered by food scientists to be addictive. You need to reduce your sugar intake now!
How about carbohydrates?
- Can you say no to desserts but pig-out on bread and pasta?
- When you want to lose weight, is it easier to eat nothing than ration yourself to smaller portions?
- Do you find it impossible to eat just a taste of pasta, bread, muffins or rice?
These are all the signs of addiction to white flour, which actually turns into sugar during digestion, creating the same problems as sugar. As above, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake before it takes a toll on your health.
Related: What are the Best Sugar Substitutes?
How Sugar Addiction is Harmful to Health
Here’s the truth about how harmful sugar can be to your health, and why the World Health Organization is recommending that people reduce sugar intake by 70%. Studies show a link between a diet high in sugar and raised levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Sugar is also responsible for tooth decay, obesity and inflammation in the body, which is the root cause of many health issues including arthritis.
Scientists have found that even thin people who consume more than 10% of their daily calories from sugar are three times more likely to die of heart disease than others. Sugar affects the brain, which controls signals such as when to stop eating. Sugar highs feed the brain with dopamine, producing an artificial sense of euphoria similar to gambling or cocaine use. In a similar way, tests on rats showed that sugar is addictive and we actually crave more and more sugar to satisfy the need.
Reduce Sugar Intake Benefits
You may never actually buy sugar and stir it into drinks, but modern-day foods are laden with hidden sugars delivering an average 22 teaspoons (150 grams) of sugar per day. In order to reduce sugar intake, you need to identify your sugar sources. Check the label on cereals, salad dressings, fruit juice and even yogurt and switch to unsweetened alternatives such as stevia, or natural whole foods.
Doctors recommend we should reduce sugar intake to around 42 grams per day, or 5% of your daily calories, in order to free yourself from your sugar addiction. You’ll find the benefits of reduced sugar intake will provide more energy, lower triglyceride levels and a healthier heart.