The news has been full of stories about the evils of sugar for some time now, but a recent analysis of past studies has upped the ante just a bit. I realize that the study discussed in the linked CBS article may have some limitations, but I’m still intrigued by the suggestion that even for those who aren’t overweight, too much added sugar can have an impact on both longevity and quality of life. Heart problems tie far too many people to high medical bills, prescription meds with side effects, and a limited lifestyle in the later years.
I don’t currently track my daily calories and I don’t have a weight problem but I do add sugar to my diet. I’ve already added about 5 teaspoons in the form of honey on my toast and sugar in my coffee. I don’t drink soda and have nearly cut out the sweet tea I grew up on here in the south, but I’ll bet if I logged it I would be above the recommended 15% of calories, at least some of the time. Based on my estimated daily calories (from past times when I have tracked them) my maximum would be about 16 teaspoons of added sugar a day. The study doesn’t include sugar from fruits or juices (but juice should count!) so a whole-foods, plant-based diet still sounds like the best way to go.
I’m planning to track my added sugar for a week and see where I end up. Maybe better than I expect, or maybe (gulp) worse. It’ll be interesting anyway. I make breakfast and dinner at home most days, but lunch is in the cafe where I work. No labels there. I’ll have to ask questions to see what they put in the food – I don’t want to change what I eat because I’m counting, I just want to see what my current habits add up to. Then I can make changes if needed.
What do you think? How hard would it be for you to cut back on sugar now in return for better health in your future?