Added Sugar is Linked to Poor Health

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We all know that we as Americans consume quite a bit of added sugars. Whether it be in sugary sodas, coffees, desserts, or sugary snacks, added sugar is everywhere! According to Linda Van Horn, one of the researchers for the 2010 and 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the intake of added sugar here in the U.S. is more than two times the recommended daily limit. To me, that’s crazy to think about. But when you realize just how much added sugar that exists in many products we consume daily, it’s actually not that hard to believe.

According to a review of 8,601 studies, high consumption of added sugars, including natural added sugars such as honey or fruit juice, is linked to 45 different negative health outcomes. Some examples are diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, cancer, asthma, tooth decay, and depression. Consuming sugar is linked to causing these health issues because it causes inflammation in the body, which leads to the development of these issues.

The American Heart Association says that women should consume no more than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons of sugar daily, and men should consume no more than 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons daily. Many people consume way more than that, so it is important that we look for ways to cut back on sugar intake. Consider swapping out sweetened beverages for water infused with mint or fruit. Or, have a piece of fresh or frozen fruit instead of a dessert.

For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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