Sugar is a common ingredient in foods whose effects and benefits often go unnoticed. If the phrase “You are what you eat” came true, what would you become? Many of you would say that you would transform into a vegetable or grain. However, if the statement came true, many Americans would turn into sugar.According to an article by Roberto A. Ferdman titled, “Where People around the World Eat the Most Sugar and Fat,” Americans account for the largest daily sugar consumption. In the United States, the average consumption per person is about 126 grams of sugar per day, which is just a little over half a cup. In a week, this amounts to over four cups.Today, I would like to tell you more about sugar consumption in America, by explaining the effects it can have on your body, why sugar is a significant ingredient in many foods, and the benefits of cutting sugar out of your diet. First, let’s discuss the effects that too much sugar consumption can have on your body.
Out of all the foods found in a modern diet, sugar is possibly the worst. According to an article titled “10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad foryou,” by Kris Gunnars, sugar can contribute to an assortment of diseases, and harms your metabolism. For instance, research has found that the human body has no nutritional need for sugar. Although sugar has a significant amount of energyandcalories, it does not have any essential nutrients.Moreover, sugar contains a high level of fructose, which strains the liver on sugar metabolism. Sugar can be broken down into two simple sugars, glucose and fructose. Only the liver is capable of metabolizing fructose, and too much of it can overload the liver. The extra fructose gets converted into fat, and then stored in the body. While it may not be realized, sugar is highly addictive. The sugars found in junk food release major dopamine into the body. With time, the dopamine creates an addiction to sugar. Furthermore, excess sugar can also increase the risk of major diseases. Too much sugar can cause insulin resistance, a fatty liver, and abnormal fat levels in your body. Shockingly, sugar can also play a role in cancer development. It “feeds” the cancer cells, and promotes cell division, making cancer to grow and spread faster. Research has also found links between a high-fructose diet and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Now that we have discussed the effects that a high sugar diet can have on your body let’s talk about why sugar is an ingredient found in many foods.
Many people who try to avoid sugar are often frustrated that it is an ingredient not easily avoided. Since sugar is an addictive ingredient, many food companies have used this to their advantage. Added sugar can is present in more foods than just plain cakes and cookies. After taking a look at the ingredients in my kitchen, I have found sugar in everything- including bread, salsa, crackers, andlunch meat. These foods are what most people consider as their meals or snacks, and they often get overlooked in daily sugar consumption. Sugar is quite often pumped into fast food items.According to an article titled “Surprising Fast-Food Items that Contain a Shocking Amount of Hidden Sugar,” by Hollis Johnson and Marina Nazario, even burgers can have a large amount of sugar in them. A Burger King Whopper alone has 9 grams of sugar, which adds up to 36% of the recommended daily sugar intake. Lastly, we will discuss the ways that sugar can be cut from your diet.
Over the past three months, I have begun the task of almost entirely cutting sugar out of my diet. While a hard and daunting goal, I have found some great benefits in reducing my sugar intake. The first benefit noticed is sleep quality. It takes over a month after cutting sugar out, but people begin to see that they sleep better, wake up from a restless sleep less, and have more energy in the morning. I noticed that after cutting sugar out that my skin began to clear up, and I had less acne and other spots on my face. Lastly, by cutting sugar out, one has more energy in the afternoon and evenings.Therefore there is no need to take naps throughout the day. Thus people become more productive during the day. According to an article by Karen Cicero titled, “Seven Things that Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar,” cutting back on consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third, stop acne-triggering inflammation, and reduce exposure to diabetes. Cutting sugar consumption also boosts memory and energy, promotes weight loss, and increases sleep quality.
Sugar consumption in America is quite rampant at the moment. Today we have talked about the effects of consuming too much sugar, why it’s an ingredient found in a wide variety of foods and the benefits of cutting it out of your diet. Sugar has been found to promote cancer and Alzheimer’s, as well as liver and heart diseases. Sugar is highly addictive, which is why many companies choose to use it as an ingredient in their food items. The benefits of cutting back on sugar can include reduction of risks to diseases, more energy, better sleep quality, and less acne. While sugar plays a huge role in the American diet, there are many different benefits to cutting it out of your food, most of all leading to a happier and healthier life.
Cicero, Karen. “7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar.” Prevention. 10 Aug.
Gunnars, Kris. “10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad For You.” Authority Nutrition. 18
Aug. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. <https://authoritynutrition.com/10-disturbing-reasons-why-sugar-is-bad/>.
Nazario, Marina, and Hollis Johnson. “Surprising Fast-Food Items that Contain a Shocking
Amount of Hidden Sugar.” Business Insider. 27 Jan. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <http://www.businessinsider.com/sugar-in-fast-food-2016-1/#burger-king-bacon-and-cheese-whopper-3>.
Ferdman, Roberto A. “Where People Around the World Eat the Most Sugar and Fat.” The
Washington Post. WP Company, 05 Feb. 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/05/where-people-around-the-world-eat-the-most-sugar-and-fat/?utm_term>.
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