Dr. Daniel Amen discusses what new research has to say about how our consumption of sugar affects our brain. We already know sugar is addictive and pro-inflammatory. Let’s see how else sugar is affecting our health. And is stevia a better choice?
There are many foods that we expect to see sugar listed as part of the ingredient list, but I bet that even if you are diligently reading labels, you probably are consuming more sugar than you even realize. The food industry has gotten pretty slick when it comes to how they name “sugar” on nutrition labels.
Here are just a few of the many popular names for sugar to lookout for:
- cane juice
- maple syrup
- coconut sugar
- fruit juice
- brown rice syrup
- date sugar
- agave syrup
- glucose solids
- barley malt
- corn syrup
The food industry literally adds sugar to just about everything because they know our brains are programmed to love sugar. The more addicted to it we become, the bigger their pockets get. Unfortunately the consumption of these refined sugars is starting at a younger and younger age. From cereals to juices and snacks, many of the things we are feeding our kids are jam packed with sugar and these habits get carried onto adulthood.
The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day and men no more than 37.5 grams per day. If you enjoy a glass of Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice in the morning, you are already consuming 22 grams of sugar in just a single 8oz serving. And let’s say that you drink a can of Coke for lunch, you can add another 39 grams of sugar to your daily consumption and this is just in TWO beverages! Not counting any food, you have already consumed 51 grams of sugar by lunch time!
Some US government surveys estimate that the average American consumes about 152 pounds of sugar per year (and I’m sure they low-balled it)! No wonder that cases of obesity, dementia, diabetes, heart diseases, depression, and cancer keep growing exponentially every year.
Get into the habit of checking the nutrition labels and be more conscious of your sugar intake.