The average American eats roughly 130 lbs of sugar a year, which breaks down to about 1/3 of a pound per day. If sugar is risky to everyone's health, then what are the guidelines we should know about? After years of saying that guidelines were not necessary, the AHA finally released guidelines, last October.
Added sugar should be no more that half of your discretionary calories per day. For the average American woman that means no more than 100 calories per day or six teaspoons. For men, it's 150 calories per day or about nine teaspoons. These are the sugars that are added to foods, like high fructose corn syrup - refined sugars - that are not naturally occurring in the food.
How much do you consume? Every time I have a grande skim mocha with whip at Starbucks, my discretionary sugar intake from that drink is 40 grams, or 160 calories! I'm so bummed! But the caveat is... if I exercise more, I can easily increase the discretionary sugar level a little. Yay!
So, what can you do?
In February, Jessica Apple of A Sweet Life wrote a blog on sugar, Paula Deen and the lost teachable moment. Jessica suggested a movement called Sugarless Tuesdays and created a Facebook page to help support the effort, but to date there are only 58 likes for the page. When the DOC was up in arms about an article that criticized a group of PWD meeting at an ice cream shop, DOC members on Facebook went ablaze with an ice cream social that garnered over a thousand likes before the end of a week! The disparity of "likes" between Sugarless Tuesdays and the ice cream social speaks to the problem. We need to do both: ice cream social AND Sugarless Tuesdays, because each is about educating PWD and non-PWD.
Taste is an important driver to enjoying eating, but it can be tempered and expanded upon more than we think. And sometimes the challenge is facing your weakness and finding a workaround, for which PWD are experts and I think Sugarless Tuesdays is a great thought starter for finding a method to the madness and disengaging from the sugar blitz!