Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

If there is one thing you could change in your diet that would help you excel in your exercise and training activities, it would be limiting your daily sugar intake. Numerous studies have determined that, on average, we consume 40 to 50 teaspoons of sugar per day. So I measured out 45 teaspoons of sugar and was impressed by the size of the pile on the plate. I also went one step further and weighed that bunch of sugar and it weighed 12.2 oz. (about 350 grams for my Canadian friends). In one month it would be 22.9 pounds of sugar. In one year it would be 274.8 pounds. I can’t imagine what that stack would look like.

As I understand it, when we consume sugar, our pancreas produces insulin which breaks it down, so it is adsorbed into the bloodstream and helps produce energy in our bodies. Two too much sugar and our insulin levels rise and that extra sugar turns into fat. Our bodies then say: we cannot burn this excess fat, so we will have to store it. Around the waist it seems like a good place. Once that fat is stored, we all know how difficult it is to get rid of it.

Sugar is found in almost everything we eat in one form or another. From tomato sauce to bread and milk, sugar is present under different names. It can be fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, or lactose in milk. Everything is sugar.

Some foods high in sugar are concentrated fruit juices, with orange at the top of the list. Also BBQ sauce, cookies and cakes and fruit flavored yogurt. One of the worst foods, especially for children, is raisins. Not only are they very high in sugar, but they stick between your teeth and can cause cavities. At 12 oz. can of soda can have up to 40 grams of sugar. I know someone says they only drink diet sodas. That is even worse. But that’s another argument.

Be mindful of your daily sugar intake. One teaspoon of sugar is roughly 4 grams. Read food labels to find out how many grams of sugar are in that product. It’s better to drink water to stay hydrated than to have one of those sports drinks. If you can burn off your sugar intake through your exercises and workouts, you will get faster results in achieving your fitness goals and your pancreas will thank you.