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Sugar has gotten a lot of bad press lately. It can be in many foods, sometimes without our knowledge, and can cause a number of diet-related health problems if eaten excessively. Here’s why you should limit how much sugar you eat.
In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a reduction in daily sugar intake. To prevent diet-related health problems, the WHO recommends that no more than 10% of your total energy intake be in the form of free sugars, no matter what your age. This corresponds to about 50 grams of sugar for people requiring 2,000 calories a day.
Your energy needs depend on several factors, such as gender, fitness, and age. Talk to a health professional or nutrition specialist to find out more about your nutritional needs.
Specialists generally distinguish between the following two types of sugars:
In the definition proposed by the WHO, free sugars include added sugars and sugars naturally present in fruit juices and some natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup). That means that all types of sugars in this category should be consumed in moderation.
According to several sources, it’s better to limit your consumption of fruit juices, as they contain much more sugar than fruit in its natural form. For example, a serving of apple juice can contain up to 25 grams of sugar, while a whole apple contains less than half that amount. What’s more, by extracting the juice, you lose several essential nutrients, including the fiber that slows down your body’s absorption of fructose.
Many studies have examined the long-term effects of eating too much sugar on overall health. Most have demonstrated a link between eating large amounts of free sugars and a range of short and long-term health problems.
Free sugars are found in many forms and in many foods, and it can be hard to limit your daily intake. Here are a few helpful tips:
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up free sugars completely. The key is to pay more attention to the nutritional content of your meals and to make sure that your nutritional needs are met.
Eating healthy and taking a greater interest in your food will go a long way to improving your health and well-being!