I remember as a kid standing at the checkout in virtually any store in America and feeling like I was in candy heaven. All the choices; gum, mints, chocolate…..it was blissfully overwhelming. I would grab one or two candy bars and argue endlessly until my mother gave in. Have you ever wondered though, why is so much sugary junk food placed in such strategic areas? Did the American Dietary Association think we needed to “refuel” after strenuously shopping?
A few days ago I was standing in line at CVS watching a gentleman in front of me purchase a bag of chips, a candy bar and a soda. I thought “wow that’s a lot of sugar”! But what is a lot of sugar? Does anyone really know how many grams of sugar they should eat per day? America has guidelines for protein, dairy, vegetables, grains…….but what about sugar?
According to Euromonitor (a global market research company), Americans eat approximately 120 grams of sugar a day! That’s 17.5% of your 2100 calories per day. What I could not find though were any US guidelines for sugar. Denmark, Sweden and Iceland all suggest less than 10% per day. Italy and the Czech Republic suggests less than 15% per day. There are still several countries including the United States without guidelines though.
There is so much nutrition based research why haven’t any guidelines been established for sugar consumption? I believe people understand frequent consumption of sugar is not healthy but how many people actually know how much they are eating on a daily bases? Do you know there is sugar in certain vegetables? How about the giant glass of juice you have every morning? Bread, cereal, peanut butter……all have sugar and it adds up!
So in conclusion of my sugar rant I have a challenge for everyone. Download a nutrition app. I personally like MyFitness Pal, but there are many others. Start logging your food. Yes it can be tedious, but just try it for 2 weeks. I guarantee you will be surprised by some of the numbers and hopefully motivated to improve your nutrition!