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Sugar is added to foods primarily as a sweetener or preservative, and it has become a common ingredient in a lot more than just soda and candy. While the average amount of added sugar consumed by Americans has declined in the last couple years, a new analysis has found that it is still way more sugar than we used to eat. Because added sugars lead to weight gain, poor Insulin Efficiency, cardiovascular problems and more, this study is a call to take real steps towards minimizing the sugar in your diet.

Modern sugar diet: the future is too sweet

Researchers working at the University of North Carolina examined the results of 5 different nationwide studies. Between them, these studies provided details of added sugars in the American diet from 1977 to 2010.

By looking at these large pools of data, study author and Royster Fellow at UNC, Elyse Powell, found, “Many American adults and children are consuming so much added sugar, that despite recent declines, consumption is still well above the recommended amount.”

In 1970, Americans consumed about 228 calories each day from added sugars. By 2010, that number had swelled to 300 calories.

Basically, we eat 30% more calories of added sugar every day than we did in 1977. Added sugars in the diets of children also went up by 20% in the same time period.

The results of Powell’s study were presented at the annual meeting of The Obesity Society.

Where is all the sugar coming from?

Eating 30% more added sugars comes with a serious cost. The are many reasons why sugar is unhealthy, and most people are aware of at least of some of them. Part of the problem with added sugars is how common they have become.

The Centers for Disease Control defines added sugars as “all sugars used as ingredients in processed and prepared foods, such as breads, cakes, soft drinks, jams, chocolates, and ice cream, and sugars eaten separately or added to foods at the table.”

That covers quite a lot of ground. Frozen foods, like frozen pizzas, often contain a lot of added sugar in order to last longer while other foods marketed as “low-fat” will have added sugar to improve taste.

Added sugars may be normal table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, dextrose and many others.

What’s to be done?

One of the simplest rules of thumb for avoiding a lot of the foods and drinks containing added sugars is to eat fresh foods, like whole fruits and vegetables, bread that doesn’t stay good for weeks, and making water or unsweetened tea your primary beverage.

Sugar isn’t always bad; the problem is that we are eating way too much of it. Rather than trying to ban sugar, you’re more likely to be successful at curbing its consumption. Olumia Life allows for a Cheat Half-Day in your diet for just such a reason to allow you to splurge.

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