Americans consume 68+ pounds of refined sugars per person annually! Make cutting out sugar your new goal.
We Americans love our sweets. Who can resist donuts in the break room, a brownie after lunch, a candy bar to cure the 3 o’clock slump, and then a scoop of ice cream after dinner? These sugary treats seem innocent enough (“it’s just one donut!”), but they take an increasing toll on our health in significant ways.
Cutting Out Sugar Sounds Great, but What Exactly Is Sugar?
Sugar occurs naturally in plants, fruits, and vegetables. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrates, providing fuel for brain power, muscle energy, and cell function. Natural sugars include monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) and disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, maltose).
Americans consume more than 68 pounds of refined sugars per person per year. In 1970, that number was less than 20 pounds per person. That’s right — today, we eat a shocking 48 more pounds of sugar a year than we did back in 1970.
Not surprisingly, over the past four decades, cases of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity have skyrocketed.
Sugar by Any Other Name … Is Still Sugar
The food industry is clever at masking the presence of sugar on ingredient labels. Cutting out sugar is difficult when you’re not always sure that it’s sugar you’re consuming. Some labels even make the ingredient sound healthy.
Among the many deceptive names for sugar: Agave Nectar, Cane Crystals, Cane Juice, Cane Sugar, Corn Sweetener, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Crystal Dextrose, Evaporated Cane Juice, Fructose, Fructose Sweetener, Fruit Juice Concentrates, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Lactose, Liquid Fructose, Malt Syrup, Maltose, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Palm Sugar, Raw Sugar, and Sucrose.
What Is Sugar Doing to Our Bodies?
First, let’s talk about sugars contained in fruit. When we eat fresh fruits (not fruit juice, dried fruit, or fruit snacks), nature also provides fiber to balance the sugar. This fiber helps the body properly absorb sugar without the unwanted side effects.
When we consume sugar in any other form, it hits the blood stream and is converted into fructose and glucose. Fructose can’t be used for energy and can only be metabolized or stored as fat by the liver. Glucose is regarded as the “good sugar” in that it is helpful for bodily function. Still, too much glucose isn’t good for you.
Cutting Out Sugar to Optimize Your Health
Read more about the ways in which consuming too much sugar affects our bodies. You can also learn about Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca Piedra, Stonebreaker), which has been used for thousands of years to help eliminate kidney and gall stones and has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant, reduce blood sugar levels, and protect against potential liver damage.