Between 2001 to 2004, according a study done by the American Heart Association (AHA), Americans on average were consuming 22.2 teaspoons of sugar per day, that is equivalent to 355 calories a day. Over one year that is equal to 37 pounds!
Experts say the consumption of sugar is a large contributor to the obesity epidemic and the AHA recommends women consume only 100 calories of sugar a day (6 teaspoons) and men limit it to 150 calories (9 teaspoon).
In order to cut back on the sugar, it’s important for people to understand where they consume most of the sugar. The biggest sources are soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
A good tool to use when it comes to cutting down on sugar is to use alternative-sweeteners.
“Artificial sweeteners are very useful for people with diabetes and other disorders of glucose metabolism,” says DietsInReview.com’s resident dietician Mary Hartley, RD. “For others, they can be a waste of time or not. It depends on how committed an individual is to using artificial sweeteners as a tool.”
She agrees that non-nutritive sweeteners can be useful for limiting added sugars but this will not guarantee weight loss.
She explains further, “Obesity is much too complicated for such a simplistic solution. In fact, chronic ‘dieters’ are more likely to use artificial sweeteners and statistics show that most dieters regain lost weight.”
So does this mean that artificial sweeteners are a waste of time?
She explains, “The regulation of food intake is both physiological and psychological; people overeat for a myriad of reasons. Artificial sweeteners are merely a drop in the big bucket.”
Cutting back on sugar should not be the only area you are monitoring. You also need to make sure your are eating more fruits and vegatables. The national guideline is a total of nine servings of fruits and vegetables everyday. Also make sure you are eating whole wheat and complex carborhydrates. Finally, you need to make sure you getting enough exercise. You need to increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, everyday.