Is sugar bad for you health?
According to an article by Serena Caner at the Salmon Arm Observer you should be taking a second look at your sugar intake.
So how bad is sugar?
This is difficult to answer as sugar causes pleasure at a price that is difficult to measure right away. To develop chronic disease, it takes years or decades of abuse before we see any effects. And how much is sugar to blame, compared with genetics or other risk factors like smoking or inactivity?
The World Health Organization (WHO), has taken a stand, recommending less than five per cent of your calories from sugar. For a 2,000 calorie diet, this translates to 25 grams or six teaspoons of added sugars (table sugar, honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates) per day. Sugars in whole foods like fruits or vegetables do not count.
Health Canada still has not made any specific recommendations, making one wonder if health information in Canada is too heavily influenced by food industry. The Canadian Sugar Institute (a national, non-profit association funded by sugar producers that provides a science-based Nutrition Information Service) frames our sugar consumption very positively (www.sugar.ca): “Canadians consume about 11 per cent of their energy from added sugars, well below the Institute of Medicine’s (the American version of Health Canada) suggested maximum of 25 per cent.”
Are refined sugar bad for your health? Yes.
Should we eat less of it? Yes.
Do we need to eliminate it completely? No.
We are human. We are going to eat what brings us pleasure. So maybe we need advocacy and policies in place that support us to make healthier choices more often, perhaps American diet patterns should not be used as our standard of health.
Story Credit: Salmon Arm Observer
Photo Credit: Flickr