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Wellness

How Much Sugar Do We Actually Need?

Here’s the shocking new data revealed by a recent study published in the journal Nutrition:

In America today, we consume nearly 400 calories a day more than we need, and that figure increases to nearly 600 calories a day when we take into account all the added sugar, sweets, fats and sugary drinks we consume on a daily basis. As a result, an average American adult can be putting on a whopping 35 pounds of weight each year. In a world of fast food, candy bars and high sugar foods, the problem isn’t enough exercise, healthy diet, and regular enough sleep — it’s a total, unending binge-eating habit.

Here’s the shocking new data revealed by a recent study published in the journal Nutrition: We consume nearly 400 calories a day more than we need, and that figure increases to nearly 600 calories a day when we take into account all the added sugar, sweets, fats and sugary drinks we consume on a daily basis. As a result, an average American adult can be putting on a whopping 35 pounds of weight each year. In a world of fast food, candy bars and high sugar foods, the problem isn’t enough exercise, healthy diet, and regular enough sleep — it’s a total, unending binge-eating habit. (And those are the hard-core binge-eaters. Let’s not forget that even the slim people out there are taking in an average of nearly a pound of sugar a day.

The study, by Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center for Boston Children’s Hospital, found that the average American consumes an excess of 33 grams of added sugars daily, which is equal to about two Twinkies at McDonalds! How did Dr. Ludwig get these numbers? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

There is a great article in Health News Today , explaining what the latest numbers on added sugars are. The report states that, on average, American consume an excess of 34 grams of added sugars daily. And I would agree with that, if I had ever looked at the sugar level. In many instances, when I ate a Twinkie, it was accompanied by a Diet Dr Pepper, or maybe a piece of chocolate cake, for just a brief moment. A portion size here or there didn’t really matter. I felt nothing. I also would agree if I drank a cup of coffee or a Diet Coke, I ate way more sugar than I should have.

But, even though I ate a lot of food, I was never weighed at that point, let alone measured. I probably went through two Diet Cokes worth of sugar a day, and probably a few cups of coffee, and a few bowls of Twinkies all in a single day, if we want to go by the numbers from that study.

So how many calories do you actually need to eat from something? We all know that it’s impossible to eat 100% of the calories you need for every meal, but for this kind of study, it was just not possible. At the end of the day, the average American adult takes in only about 300-500 calories. To get the results you see above, you would need to consume about a pound of added sugar daily, or roughly six teaspoons of added sugar.

But there is a catch to this latest study. When we take into account the entire number of calories consumed by Americans, it is actually even more disturbing. An average American consumes roughly a pound a day more than they need. In fact, the study estimates that the average person puts on nearly a pound of weight each year. So, do you really have to be concerned about the sugar you ingest each day? We just have to keep an eye on ourselves!

As for the hard-core bingers out there, Dr. Ludwig advises that our sugar consumption has gotten way out of hand and that, just as we all know that you are consuming way too much alcohol each day, “the same logic should apply to eating too much sugar.