Think sucking down a Coke or Pepsi is harmless? Think again. An individual can of Coke has about 39 grams of sugar. “So what? It’s just sugar,” you say.
Different nutritionists and health experts provide such such an abundance of health information, it can sometimes be confusing to know what to believe. First we were told we need to limit our fat intake. F.Y.I. Excess sugar turns into fat since it is a carbohydrate. Then we were told by nutritionists that fat is not the enemy. In fact, suddenly we are encouraged to eat whole-fat yogurt and milk.
At one time eggs were “bad” since they contained a lot of cholesterol. Now they’re telling us to eat them again since they’re a good source of protein and are low in carbohydrates.
Suddenly they are saying calories are bad. It’s as simple as calories ingested versus calories burned. Then, why is it that two people eating the same diet burn those same calories in different ways? Think of the person who seems to be able to eat nothing but junk food and not gain a pound. Then, there are the rest of us. Calories are not all equal just as people’s metabolisms differ.
There is one thing that all nutritionists can agree on. It’s that sugar is never good for you, but some types of sugar are not as bad. To clarify, natural sugars from fruits and vegetables are the “less bad” kind. High fructose corn syrup and other added sugars are where the real dangers lie.
According to the American Heart Association, men should consume no more than 150 calories or 37.5 grams of sugar per day. For women, it’s a little less. They recommend no more than 100 calories or 25 grams of sugar. One Coke has 39 grams of sugar and 140 calories– higher than the maximum recommendation (grams of sugar) for either men or women.
This is not to say that sodas are the only source of sugar. Added sugar is packed into all sorts of things you wouldn’t expect to see it in – especially corn sugars. Read the nutrition labels.
Further, if you are obese or have diabetes, it’s a good idea to limit your sugar and carbohydrate intake. Some people who eliminate sugar and refined white flour from their diet have been able to alleviate the symptoms of diabetes altogether.
The safest dose of refined sugar is none at all. However, it may not be practical to cut sugar out of your diet entirely. Some people even consider themselves to be “addicted” to it.
If you think about it, ancient people never had refined sugar. They had naturally occurring sugars like that from fruit, but there was no such thing as high fructose corn syrup. Our bodies are not designed to process that much sugar at once. In fact, consuming large amounts at once can cause blood sugar to spike and then later to crash. Sometimes the sugar crash leaves you feeling shaky and weak. This is especially dangerous for diabetics.
Because sugar has been linked to a buildup of fat inside your liver, obesity, cellular damage and even an increased risk for cancer, consider taking baby steps to wean yourself off gradually. Your body will thank you.