Mary Poppins sang that a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down unfortunately almost 50 years after that movie was made; Americans are eating 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. As Nancy Naeve Brown reports, not only is that making us fat, it could be toxic to our health.
This is what the average teenage boy will grab to quench their thirst. According to a USDA Food Consumption Survey this is also the biggest offender of added sugar in our diet. Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitian Joanne Shearer says if we would cut out soft drinks all together we would significantly cut down on the 150 pounds of added sugar we eat a year which Joanne says among other things is bad for our teeth
"Sugar replaces a lot of nutritious food in our diet. The nutritious calories get pushed out. All that extra sugar requires more nutrients, more vitamins, and more minerals so our bodies can metabolize it so you really get a triple whammy with it, "Joanne said.
According to dietary guidelines our average intake of added sugar should only be 6 to 8 teaspoons a day, but the average American is eating more like 30 teaspoons instead.
"If you look at the ingredient list they will show you added sugar. Natural sugars are fine, those are the ones from fruit, yogurt, but it's the added sugars and most of those have been increasing over the years from high fructose corn syrup so we are eating about 60-80 pounds of high fructose corn syrup now than we did in 1970, " Joanne said.
If you think diet soda is a better option, Joanne says the new studies coming out are disputing that too. The artificial sweetners used in Diet Dew and Diet Coke are 200 times sweeter than sugar and that messes with our taste buds and our brains leaving us wanting more.... more sweets.
"You can retrain your taste buds it just takes some time. It will help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory diseases by getting all those sweetners out of your diet, artificial and regular. If you plot the increase of artificial sweetners in our diet in the U.S. it parallels the increase in obesity. If we take a public health approach eating more artificial sweetners doesn't seem to be working for us for controlling our weight so getting back to natural foods, whole foods, those closest to nature is the best overall approach, "Joanne said.
Joanne says it may be bitter sweet at first but try to stick with water and tea and replace those Bonbons with berries. You'll lose weight and lower your risk for all kinds of diseases and what could be sweeter than that?
17th Annual North Central Heart Vascular Symposium is Friday, May 4th from 8 am to 5 pm at the Sioux Falls Convention Center for people in the healthcare field. Nationally recognized speakers and local experts offer the latest concepts in cardiac and vascular care.
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