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A Few Facts About Sugar

By Sara Butler

Sugar has a bad reputation. Talk to most doctors, chiropractors, nutritionists, and personal trainers and you’ll find that they universally agree sugar is bad. But is that all you need to know? If you’re into eating healthy, then you need to know the facts about sugar and healthy eating. After all, knowing the truth helps you to be a more conscientious shopper and eater!

Should You Watch Calories or Watch Sugar Intake?

In order to achieve great overall health, you need to balance the incoming calories with the outgoing calories. But not all calories are created equal. It turns out nutrition science now has found that the source of the calories may be more important than overall calories. It’s still important to watch how many overall calories you take in a day, but consuming most of your calories in sugar will wreak metabolic havoc on your body.

Think of it this way: Your calories need to come from quality sources such as protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. Those are the things that fuel your body to work optimally as you go through your day. So make sure you read nutrition labels to find out where your calories are coming from.

What Do Nutrition Labels Tell You?

Speaking of nutrition labels, you may find reading them kind of like trying to decipher hieroglyphics. A lot of people feel that way but the secret is just to know what you should look for. Current labels will tell you both the added sugar and naturally occurring sugars in the foods you’re eating. Highly processed foods usually have more added sugars while natural sugars occur in foods such as fruit and dairy. If you’re trying to watch how much sugar you’re consuming in a day, then added sugar is what you want to focus on.

How Much Sugar Should You Have?

Surprisingly, the amount of sugar you should have a day is a fixed number – it doesn’t depend on how active you are or how much you weigh. The American Heart Association recommends that you top your day off at 24 grams, which is about six teaspoons. That number will help you to improve health and achieve long-term health goals, so keep it in your mind as you shoot for your daily nutrition goals.

So, does that help to clear up some things about how to treat sugar in your diet?

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Creve Coeur, Mo. 


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