Food labels list the amount of sugar in a serving, but they do not tell a person whether the sugar is added to the food or drink or is there naturally. The National Soft Drink Association claims, correctly, that there is no difference between table sugar and the sugar found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but fruits contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that help to keep you healthy. Added sugar contributes only empty calories.
Added sugar is more unhealthful than the sugar in fruit such as raisins, or in root vegetables such as beets. Sugar that is bound up with the fiber in fruits and vegetables takes much longer to digest than sugars which have been extracted from their plant source — sugar cane, sugar beets, corn, fruits, trees or flowers (that includes honey and maple syrup, and sugars extracted from apples, grapes or any other fruit). When you eat, your blood sugar rises. Refined sugar in foods and drinks causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly, causing your body to increase production of insulin which acts on your brain to make you hungry, so you eat more and on your liver to cause it to make more fat.
In the last 25 years, the average American has reduced his intake of fat from 43 percent down to 32 percent and he is 11 pounds heavier. Low-fat and low-carb diets do not help a person to lose weight or lower cholesterol unless they cause a person to take in fewer calories.
The average American takes in 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day. A reasonable upper limit is 10 teaspoons a day. But you would get an entire days' limit of 10 teaspoons of added sugar from a 12 ounce soft drink. A McDonald's shake contains 12 teaspoons of added sugar and an 8-ounce container of low-fat, fruit flavored yogurt contains 7 teaspoons of added sugar. If you are trying to lose weight, control diabetes, lower cholesterol or high blood pressure or just eat healthfully, you should limit added sugars as well as flour-based products such as bakery goods and pastas..
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