Friday, December 27, 2013

What Are The Guidelines For Sugar Consumption?

The American Heart Association has proposed specific guidelines for sugar consumption.  Most women should consume no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day;  most men no more than 37.5 grams (about 9 teaspoons) a day.  This translates to no more than 100 calories of added sugar for women and no more than 150 calories for men.

Think about this. That is precious little sugar and it is so easy to exceed these limits. Most Americans do exceed them, frequently by alot.  For example a 16 ounce bottle of soda has about 44 grams (11 teaspoons) of added sugar. How many sodas do you drink a day? Even foods like yogurt and baked beans may be loaded with extra sugar, beyond the sugar naturally in them.

If you are serious about reducing your sugar intake you need to act like a detective and examine the labels on the foods that you eat.  Here are a some examples of added sugar in beverages and foods.

Beverages (8 oz)                                                 Added Sugar (G)
Cola                                                                                   22
Tea, instant, sugar sweetened                                            21
Cranberry juice cocktail                                                    20
Soy milk, chocolate                                                          10

Candies, caramel, 2.5 oz package                                    36
Milk chocolate candy bar                                                 19
Vanilla pudding 4 oz                                                        19
Canned baked beans 1 cup                                               15
Glazed doughnut 1.4 oz                                                   14

If it feels to you as though you are in sugar trouble no matter what, you are not alone. If you are really serious about wanting to improve your health, lose weight or just plain feel better you must pay attention to the sugar trail. In the next blog we will discuss common sense actions that will give you a jump start toward defeating the sugar siren.

Get more information in our book Live Longer Live Healthier

or visit our website at

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sugar The Siren "Killing Us Softly With Its Song" Part 2

We all love sugar.  It is yummy and  tastes so good, but it is not good for us. Sugar is a major health risk.  Somehow sugar has stayed out of the limelight while the blame for obesity, high blood cholesterol, high triglycerides, heart attacks and strokes has been laid primarily on too much saturated fat in our diets.  As a result fat makes up a smaller portion of the American diet than it did a generation ago but the numbers of obese Americans continues to grow. As does the incidence of diabetes.

Sugar is responsible for two health problems. The first is obesity. Sugar is a source of easy calories.  There are four calories to every gram of carbohydrate and sugar is a carbohydrate. The sugar calories found in every bite of sweets, pastry, white bread, snack foods and in every sip of soda add up quickly.  Take in more calories than are necessary to sustain all of your body's functions and the excess are converted to fat. More calories means more fat.

The other health problem caused by sugar is a bit more complicated. Sucrose or table sugar is a disaccharide comprised of equal parts of glucose and fructose. Glucose is the fuel that makes the body run. Fructose is the kind of sugar that is found naturally in fruit. Glucose is metabolized by all of the cells in the body. Fructose, on the other hand only metabolized primarily by the liver.

Possibly you have heard or read of the health problems caused by ingesting too much high fructose corn syrup {HFCS} HFCS is also a disaccharide mixture of glucose and fructose.  The impact on health of sucrose and HFCS is similar. If you eat too much fructose your liver metabolizes the fructose and produces fats called triglycerides. Some of this fat stays in the liver and over a period of time your liver may become dysfunctional. Most of the trigycerides are pushed into your circulation. Over time your tissues become more resistant to insulin. Eventually a condition known as the metabolic syndrome can develop.  It is characterized by obesity, high blood pressure and other metabolic changes.  It can also lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

The American Heart Association has issues warning about limiting the amount of sugar in the diet.  The rational for that warning is that sugar provides calories with no nutritional benefit. We call this kind of calories empty calories. According to numerous experts this warning is necessary, but it misses the most important point. Excessive sugar in not just empty calories.  It is toxic.  Sugar by itself is a poison when consumed at high doses.

Get more information in our book Live Longer Live Healthier

or visit our website at