The Question: Is Sugar Really That Bad?
I am a generally healthy adult with a fairly active lifestyle and no family history of diabetes. I feel like I probably have more sugar than I “should,” but I’m uncertain if it’s really an issue or not. Can you help me understand how much is too much and if there are risks I’m not considering?
Let’s start by remembering that “sugar” can either be natural carbohydrates in foods or ADDED into foods to make them taste sweeter. Natural sugars are in dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Added sugars are just that – ADDED into foods. Think sugary breakfast cereals, syrup on pancakes, candy, desserts. Added sugars also tend to hide in unexpected places like salad dressing, yogurt, pasta sauce, breads, crackers, granola bars, nut butters and other foods. Very stealthy, they are.
I generally recommend that you should limit your consumption of added sugars to no more than 25-30 grams/day. If you have a yogurt and a serving of pasta sauce, you have likely met your added sugar quota for the day!
Over time, if we consume too much added sugars, we can develop insulin resistance. In other words, our bodies don’t recognize or use insulin as effectively, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels which can lead to Diabetes and other health complications. By choosing to eat healthfully now, you can avoid this altogether!