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Recently sugar has been all over the news as it’s been linked with the growing obesity problem in the United States.
Earlier this month, Dr. Robert Lustig told CBS News’ “60 minutes” that sugar is addictive, toxic, and it’s killing us by increasing our risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, hypertension and cancer. The pediatric endocrinologist has even gone as far as to say that sugar should be regulated like cigarettes and alcohol.
Is sugar really toxic? Does this mean you should eliminate all sugar in your diet? Not necessarily.
There are two kinds of sugar—naturally-occurring and added sugars. Mother Nature provides us with many naturally-occurring sugars in our foods. For example, yogurt, milk, and fruit – all healthy foods- contain sugar. Lactose is the sugar in milk and yogurt; fructose is the sugar in fruit.
Added sugars are sweeteners that are added to food and beverages during the manufacturing process. Common sweeteners added to foods include fructose and high fructose corn syrup. Desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, energy and sports drinks, are the top sources of added sugar in most American diets.
Sugar may taste sweet but added sugars are not-so-sweet for your health. Added sugars add extra calories which may lead to weight gain. Weight gain increases your risk for many health conditions, including heart disease. Additionally, if you’re eating foods with lots of added sugars, it’s likely you’re not eating nutrient-rich foods. For example, a 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 25-35 grams of high fructose corn syrup but provides our bodies with no other nutrients. In comparison, one cup of blueberries contains about seven grams of natural fructose and also packs a powerful punch of fiber, antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals.
Recommendations on added sugar
The American Heart Association recommends that most women have no more than 100 calories per day from added sugar, which equals about 6 teaspoons (25 grams). For men, no more than 150 calories from added sugars or about 9 teaspoons (38 grams). That’s much less than you may think: 1 small candy bar, ½ cup of ice cream or frozen yogurt is equal to about 100-150 calories.
5 tips to cut back on added sugars:
Amy Bowen RD, LDN is a clinical dietitian at WakeMed Cary Hospital.
Back in February started following this advise. Took a while to read all labels and choose different foods, but lost 10lbs in the process!
I found this information very useful. I watch labels but after reading this I am going to watch more closely.
YES!! Thanks for sharing! Most people don’t get it about refined sugar!
Great post! I really need to slow down on my sugar intake as well. Thanks for sharing!!!
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