Hey Sugar! No, I’m not calling you sugar… I’m talking about the “sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting of sucrose, and used as a sweetener in food and drink.”
Now that we know what we’re talking about, let’s look at the effects sugar has on our body and how much we should be having daily.
Grab and go foods and drinks can be riddled with sugars to give you the quick pick up you are looking for. However, that quick pick up comes at a cost!
In March 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided the following guidelines for sugar intake:
- Adults and children should have less than 10% (5% is optimal) of total caloric intake from sugar.
- Men should eat no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day and women and children no more than 6.
- A single teaspoon is around 4 grams. This means 36 grams of sugar per day for men and 24 grams for women and children.
Here are some popular foods and soft drinks along with how much sugar they have per serving.
- Lucky Charms: 7.33 teaspoons
- Cocoa Puffs: 7.55 teaspoons
- Cookie Crisp: 7.06 teaspoons
- Coca-Cola (1 can) 7.25 teaspoons
- Sprite (1 can) 7.61 teaspoons
- Milky Way: 7.06 teaspoons
- 3 Musketeers: 8.14 teaspoons
- Snickers: 5.83 teaspoons.
As you can see, when choosing “junk” food it’s difficult to keep your sugars in check. Risks that are associated with too much sugar intake include: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Research shows “a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.”
The next time you reach for your favorite soft drink and/or sweet treat be mindful of how much sugar you’ve had for the day. If you’re at your limit opt for a healthier treat or drink. Water with fruit, unsweetened teas, cut up raw veggies, fruit (keep in mind fruit is high in sugar), etc. are alternatives.
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels.