It seems like sugar is in EVERYTHING. From obvious places like chocolate bars and desserts, to surprising places like fresh strawberries, milk and BBQ sauce, it’s hugely pervasive in our diets. The problem is that we really shouldn’t be consuming as much sugar as we are, and especially not on a daily basis.
In 2004, Canadians were consuming an average of 110g of sugar daily, which equates to 26 teaspoons!!!!! It also ended up that sugar made up anywhere from 19%-27% of our total daily calories. This is absolutely ridiculous.
This equates to 6 teaspoons MAX per day and about 10% of your daily calories. This sugar goal is what I recommend you aim for per day, and is also the number that many health groups recommend, including the World Health Organization.
Surprising places you’ll find sugar
- 2 TBS Organic Ketchup -> 8g sugar -> who has just 2 tablespoons!?
- 1 cup organic orange juice (no sugar added) -> 21g natural sugar -> almost a full day worth
- Grande White Mocha -> 53g of sugar!!! Over 2 days worth!
- 1 cup 2% Milk -> 13g of sugar -> over half of our daily intake
Fat Was Made Out To Be The Culprit
Sugar was able to dodge a bullet as far back as the 1960’s when the sugar industry paid for research that downplayed the risks of sugar consumption and suggested that fat was actually the culprit of poor health. This falsified evidence has recently come to light and was published in a special communication of the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, over the years many more studies have been done to show the true and worrisome effects of sugars over fats.
My Surprising Realization
I don’t really have a sweet tooth, and am much more of a popcorn or chip kind of girl when I’m looking for a treat, but when we were experimenting with a ketogenic diet (high fat, moderate protein, low carb), we both realized just how much our palettes were terribly over-sensitized to sugar.
With starting keto, my spouse Brendan was feeling miserable. Normally, he’s often the one between the two of us who will inevitably say after dinner, “I think I’d like a treat.” He quickly came to realize that a low carb diet meant low sugar too. A few days into keto he looked at me with a sad look on his face and said, “I think I’m addicted to sugar.”
I too, while less bothered by having something sweet in my diet, realized how much even over a short period of time (just over 2 weeks without much traditional sweetener) my taste bud sensitivity to sugars began to change.
I noticed that the electrolyte I’d been normally using (sweetened with stevia), became overbearingly sweet and shocking to my system! I had to drastically cut back the amount I’d been using by over half just to get it down. This was a huge wake up call for me.
The other big area I noticed it in (again, not being a huge sugar addict) was with my coffee. Now I’m definitely not a coffee addict and am a bit of, what I like to call, “a fake coffee drinker.” I like the fancy, sweetened, whipped-topping kind of coffees and would never drink a coffee black. Once we started keto, I switched first to using stevia (which is really hit and miss for it’s metallic taste, but different brands seem to yield different taste profiles) to eventually using Monk Fruit Sugar. Post-keto though, I can’t even go back to my “half-sweet” lattes and have been asking for ½-1 pump of sweetener instead when I have my treat coffees.You would likely be surprised how much sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis. Click To Tweet
I also think you would also be surprised at how quickly your body can reset and your taste buds can become more sensitive to sugars. This increased sensitivity means our sweet-tooth is more quickly satisfied and we’ll find it easier to eat less sugar.
Quarterly Sugar Detox and Daily Maximums
Quarterly Sugar Detox
My goal for you, is to go at least 2 weeks at a time with VERY little sugar in your diet, and to do this every 3 months. This way, your body will stay sensitive to sugar and you won’t be overdoing it so much on a regular basis.
I’ve been trying to encourage patients more to start tracking how much sugar they’re consuming on a daily basis, and I’d love for you to do the same. Once you have a better idea of how much sugar is in your common diet, then you’ll be required to track it less. I want you to aim for the WHO suggested 25g of sugar per day or less if you can.
Feel like you need extra support?
Let me know if you need help with this and we can get you started on a sugar-reduced journey. Feel free to book online or call the clinic at 403-460-0647.