Are You Addicted To Sugar?

By MiNDFOOD

Not so sweet. Are you addicted to sugar?
Adults consume approximately 27 teaspoons of sugar a day, but the World Health Organisation recommends limiting intake to just 6-9 teaspoons. Find out why sugar is leaving a bad taste in our mouths.

Fitbit, Apple, and Google are currently investing in continuous glucose monitors that let people track their blood glucose and see how food affects their body. The technology isn’t only designed for diabetics, but for anyone looking to reduce their sugar intake.

Too much sugar can negatively impact on our health, from liver damage to diabetes and weight gain. It can even contribute to more wrinkles. One teaspoon holds about 4.2 grams of sugar. WHO advises limiting daily sugar to about five percent of daily energy intake (about 6-9 teaspoons) for optimum health. This includes refined sugar in processed foods, as well as natural sugars in honey, syrups and juices. Adults consume about 27 teaspoons of sugar a day. Sugar is also in foods we once considered healthy, such as fruit yoghurt (a small tub can have up to five teaspoons), fruit juice (a large glass of apple juice can have as much sugar as a can of soft drink), and ready-made cooking sauces.

Dr. Nicole Avena, neuroscientist, and author of Why Diets Fail, explains why sugar is hard to give up. “Sugary foods are easy to consume and trigger pleasure in the brain. They can produce both behaviour and brain changes that resemble addiction,” she says. “The key is to treat sugar like a drug and act in ways that satisfy your appetite, not your addiction.”

To reduce sugar consumption Sarah Wilson, author of I Quit Sugar, suggested to MiNDFOOD readers in 2014: “A good trick is to avoid the [supermarket] center aisles. This is where processed food lives. Always choose food with the least number of ingredients. Don’t buy low-fat products. These [often] contain way more sugar and additives.”

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