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How cutting down on sugar impacts your body

Today, more than 70% of Canadians are eating 400% of their daily recommended sugar. Higher than any other time in history.

And yet, many of us think we are eating healthy: granola bars, yogurt, juice.

These items can be healthy, but did you know that most brands contain more than your daily recommended sugar intake? Sad, but true.

So why do the vast majority of Canadians have too much sugar in their diet? On average, we consume 110 grams per day. The recommended daily amount is about 25 grams per day (average adult).

Odds are, you are one of the majority eating the 110 grams. And it isn’t because you add heaping spoonfuls of sugar to your coffee and stuff chocolate bars in your mouth after every meal. Most of us have no idea how much sugar is actually in our diet. Where is all of this sugar coming from? For most of us, it’s hidden in the pre-packed food we eat.

Consider salad dressing. You go out of your way to make sure that you are eating your veggies, and then your dressing plops 9 grams of sugar on top!

Do you enjoy sports drinks? You are better off quenching your thirst with just water. Otherwise, you are adding 32 grams of sugar to your diet via a ‘healthy’ post-workout thirst quencher.

Data now shows that too much refined sugar can make us cranky, result in rash decision-making, and can sabotage memory. It’s also addictive, can overload your liver, and can contribute to insulin resistance and potentially Type II diabetes.

But cutting out refined sugar can change your life! So says Michael Grothaus, a journalist for Fast Company who elected to experiment with his diet for 2 weeks and has never looked back.

 

“When I began my refined-sugar-free diet, I thought it was mostly a pointless exercise. By the time I finished, it was nothing short of a revelation.”

 

By Day 6, Michael’s sleep had improved: he fell asleep right away and had no trouble getting up when his alarm went off.

By Day 8, he felt he could focus more: he experienced fewer distracting thoughts at work.

And after 2 weeks, he never felt better: better mood, better sleep and more energy.

Not ready to cut out all sugar like Michael? That’s okay A great first step is to take stock of the current levels of sugar in your diet. Try to at least monitor and control it. Beware, though, it’s not easy. You’ll find most of the sugar is hiding… hiding in the pre-packaged foods we eat and drink.

Don’t believe us? Take a peek at these sugar portions in some popular foods that are likely already in your kitchen:

hidden sugar infographic

Shocked?

So were we. It might be time to become one of those people that reads nutrition labels at the grocery store… because if you aren’t reading the label, it’s very likely you are consuming as much as 4 TIMES the daily recommended sugar intake for the average adult.

But how bad can sugar really be… long-term? See for yourself. Here are 10 science-backed health risks of high-sugar diets in humans.

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