It seems like most major holidays are centered on sugar. Halloween is all about candy. Thanksgiving is just as much about the pies as it is the turkey and stuffing. The Christmas season is filled to the brim with cookies. And today, Easter, is a day when children everywhere become excited about the jelly beans and other candy goodies in their Easter baskets.
Did you know that it takes walking one entire football field to burn off ONE M&M? Excessive sugar consumption is bad for you health. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Increases risk of cardiovascular disease – increases bad cholesterol and triglycerides
- Increases risk of obesity – promotes belly fat specifically
- Creates an addictive response to the brain
- Causes inflammation
- May be linked to cancer
- Can be toxic to the liver
- Accelerates the aging process
- Zaps energy
- Increases unwanted cravings
- Promotes sleep trouble
- Harmful to teeth
- Can suppress your immune system
Sugars in your diet can be naturally occurring or added. Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugars are sugars and syrups put in foods during preparation or processing.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons
4 grams of sugar = one teaspoon
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. Some people consume as much as 25-30 teaspoons of sugar per day and don’t even realize it! And with holiday candy in your midst, you may be consuming way more than 30 teaspoons a day.
So think twice before you reach into the Easter candy bowl.