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  • Dr. Lesa Lawson

Are You Having Too Much Sugar?

We all know that there is a difference between sugar that is added to processed foods, and sugar that occurs naturally in whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

The sugar that is added to food is the harmful one. Of all the different types of added sugars, the most common are regular table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, which is even worse.

People worldwide are consuming far more sugar than is recommended. In 2012, United States consumers, on average, had about 77 grams of sugar per day (equal to 19 teaspoons). This number did not include grams from fruit juices. Some may not understand why that is a problem, so let’s look at the recommendation for daily sugar intake.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars in a day should be

  • Men: 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons (150 calories per day)

  • Women: 25 grams or 6 teaspoons (100 calories per day)

  • Children: 12 - 25 grams or 3-6 teaspoons (150-100 calories per day); varies depending on age and caloric needs

Just to give you a visual:

There are 27 grams of sugar (6 ¾ teaspoons) in one can of Red Bull.

One can of Sprite has 190 calories from sugar (47.5 grams or 11.8 teaspoons).

One 12-oz can of Coke contains 140 calories from sugar (35 grams or 8 ¾ teaspoons)

Iced Caffé Mocha: 30 grams of sugar or 7.5 teaspoons

The World Health Organization's (WHO) recommends that, ideally, less than 5% of an adult's calories should come from added sugar or from natural sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juices.

Let’s examine a typical day for some.

First sweet - Toothpaste

Most toothpaste use similar ingredients, some of which are toxic and quite harmful. Artificial sweeteners like sodium saccharin are in most toothpaste brands. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), sodium saccharin is known for urinary bladder carcinogenicity (cancer-forming) in rats, when fed at high doses.

Add fluoride to that and your toothpaste danger increases. Fluoride is a noxious poison. It is added to the water supply and toothpaste and causes teeth to rot. It disrupts the immune system and hinders proper thyroid function.

Fluoride is a chemical that burns through skin, plastic, even glass. Why are we putting it in our mouths? Each toothpaste tube bears the warning, “Harmful if swallowed” or “Do not swallow.” Once toothpaste is in your mouth, it mixes with saliva and flows under the tongue, where it diffuses through the mucous membranes. This gives it a direct route into your bloodstream because of the abundance of capillaries there. Toothpaste with fluoride and sodium saccharine? Hmm.

Sweet 2 - Breakfast

[if !supportLists][endif]· A plain bagel: 6g sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons)
· [endif]Yogurt Parfait: 49g sugar (12 1/4 teaspoons)
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Cinnamon Roll: 41g (10 1/4 teaspoons)
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Blueberry muffin: 38g (9 1/2 teaspoons)
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Doughnut: 24g (6 teaspoons)
[if !supportLists]· 1 cup sugary cereal with Milk: 25g (6 1/4 teaspoons)

Don’t forget about the sweetened coffee, tea, latte, or orange juice.

Sweet 3 - Lunch


Breads, sauces, deli meats, ketchup, and mayonnaise all contain sugar. A salad with candied (a nice term for sweetened) nuts, dried fruit (also sweetened), croutons, and barbecued chicken can provide 800-1000 calories. Don’t forget the drink.

Sweet 4 – Dinner

Rice, cornbread, meat with rich gravies, baked potato, pie or cake with ice-cream for dessert, and the wine or other drink that accompanies it have a lot of added sugar. Such meals are high in carbohydrates, some of which break down into sugar.

Oh, we forgot about snacks, candy and gum. Even some salty snacks have sugar because it is addicting.

Insulin and Sugar

Insulin helps with sugar regulation in our bodies. It also accelerates the conversion of sugar into fat, depositing the fat around the belly and in the liver and muscles, when there is too much sugar intake. The liver converts excess sugar into glycogen and stores it. When liver and muscle storage become full, the liver converts excess sugar into fats called triglycerides.

Fatty liver disease is associated with excess sugar consumption, as well as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and tooth decay. Sugar plays a part in these and other diseases.

What to Do

Try avoiding added sugars for one week. That will help you to determine your addiction levels.

We do not need even one-third of the processed sugars that we consume. Some people say that their favorite foods are made with added sugars. I challenge them to prove that those foods are, indeed, favorites. Are they fully satisfying, and leave no cravings? Do they contribute to improved health or do they make you sluggish, tired or irritable? Does your heart race or your head or stomach hurt when the food is eaten? Are you gassy or spacey after eating them?

If you need to wean yourself from sugar and its effects, get started on detoxifying your body. Cinnamon helps, as does burdock and dandelion. You need to also reduce and eliminate cravings and take the stress off your body. That’s where I can help. Let us detoxify and strengthen your immune system, so that your liver, pancreas, and other organs can function at optimal levels.

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