i though i would post this info about sugar i found you guys probably already heard of this but for the ones that are just researching info here is what i found......................
ARTICLE: How Much Sugar is Too Much?
By Chris Woolston
A bowl of sweetened cereal for breakfast, a cup of fruit yogurt for a snack, and a scoop of sherbet for dessert: You've just had more than 20 teaspoons of sugar without opening the sugar jar. Twenty teaspoons of sugar sounds like a lot -- and it is. (Just imagine scooping that much sugar directly into your mouth.) It may be hard to believe, but the typical American actually eats or drinks more than 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day, and that doesn't even count the sugars naturally found in foods such as fruits, fruit juices, and milk. Added sugar used to be a treat, but now it's a major part of the American diet. According to a 2004 report from the American Dietetic Association, sweeteners account for about 15 percent of our daily calories. But that's just an average. Many people get 30 percent or more of their calories from added sugars -- far more than any body really wants or needs. Sugar is a short-term source of both energy and pleasure. But at a time when sugar is everywhere, it's time to ask some important questions. What are the dangers of sugars? And how much is too much?
The 10 percent rule
According to the World Health Organization, no more than 10 percent of calories should come from added sweeteners. This advice is in line with the long-standing recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture food pyramid, called for a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar (48 grams) in a 2,200-calorie diet, which translates to roughly 9 percent of daily calories. In a diet composed of 2,000 daily calories, that would amount to about 200 calories, or 50 grams of sugar. Now you have another reason to check nutrition labels. Thanks to them, it's easy to find out the sugar content of common foods from candy bars to breakfast cereals. Those labels are definitely worth a read because the numbers can be surprising: A single bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats contains three teaspoons (12 grams) of sugar; some raisin bran contains 20 grams; a 32-ounce sports drink can contain 19 teaspoons (76 grams) of sugar, and a 20-ounce Fruitopia fruit drink can pack nearly 18 teaspoons (71 grams) of sugar -- nearly one and a half times as much as you should have in one day. By glancing at the nutrition labels, you'll notice that a mini-candy bar often contains 10 grams of sugar, and that some "health" bars offer even more. If you're used to having a scone for breakfast, candy at the office, a sweetened-yogurt smoothie for lunch, sweetened iced tea or colas in the mid-afternoon, and ice cream after dinner, you may find out you're getting two or four or five times as much sugar as recommended. If you regularly drink 100 percent fruit juice, take a moment to look at those labels, too. These products don't contain any added sugar, but they're still plenty sweet. A small, 4.2-ounce juice box has nearly four teaspoons (15 grams) of sugar. The sugar may be natural, but as far as your body is concerned, it's no different from any other type of sugar. And be sure to count the "hidden" sources of sugar, too -- soups, canned spaghetti sauce, and even pork and beans may all contain significant amounts of added sugar. For every sugary product, however, there's a low-sugar or sugar-free alternative. For many people, cutting back on sugar is as simple as drinking skim milk or diet sodas instead of regular sodas (or better yet, water). If you're a big fan of cookies or candy, you might try to find something else to munch on, like low-salt pretzels. (Remember, even low-fat or fat-free cookies can be loaded with sugar.) You can make your own smoothies using fruits and non-sugared yogurt. And there are plenty of breakfast choices that aren't sweet enough to make your teeth hurt. A bowl of Cheerios, for instance, contains just a quarter-teaspoon (1 gram) of sugar.
Empty calories, possible dangers
If you're counting calories, you want every calorie to count. And that's where sugar falls short: It offers calories but nothing else. The sugar in a muffin or a cappuccino will take a big chunk out of your calorie quota for the day without moving you closer to your daily goals for minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. If you eat too much of the sweet stuff, you'll have trouble getting enough healthy nutrients without going overboard on calories. By now, we all know the dangers of extra calories. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004, roughly two-thirds of American adults and one-third of kids are heavy enough to put their health at risk. Sugar isn't the only cause of weight problems, but it's hard to imagine us ever reaching this sad state of affairs without a big lift from sweets and sodas. According to a report from the American Dietetic Association, regular sodas and other sugary beverages may be especially hard on the waistline. For one thing, liquids tend to be less filling than solids. High fructose corn syrup—the sweetener found in almost all sugary drinks—further tricks the body by blunting the hormones (insulin and leptin) that make you feel full. A can of soda might quench your thirst, but those 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar won't do anything to quiet your hunger. A Harvard university study published in the Lancet in 2001 provided strong evidence that sweet drinks really can lead to extra weight, at least in children. The study found that each daily serving of soda or other sugary drinks raised a child's risk of obesity significantly. Extra weight isn't the only possible consequence of an overload of sugar. Sugary drinks and snacks can set the stage for cavities, especially in children. (On the bright side, good oral hygiene can prevent cavities even if a kid favors suckers and caramels.) Some studies have found that diets high in sugar can quickly boost triglycerides, fats in the blood that can clog the arteries. Some people react to sugar more strongly than others, and it's not clear if the triglyceride bounce lasts long enough to seriously raise the risk of heart disease. In some cases, sugar doesn't deserve its bad reputation. According to the American Dietetic Association, sugar doesn't make kids hyperactive or cause other behavior problems. Sugary foods don't raise the risk of type 2 diabetes, either, unless a person happens to become overweight from eating too many sweets
Use in moderation
Nutrition experts agree that too much sugar is unhealthy. Unfortunately, they can't agree on how much is too much. Under pressure from the sugar industry, some health agencies have backed down on long-established guidelines. The new guidelines, released in 2005, don't offer specific recommendations for sugar, and the government's 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans merely states that sugar should be used "in moderation." The Institute of Medicine and the American Dietetic Association are especially forgiving when it comes to sugar. Both say that it's safe to get as much as 25 percent of daily calories from added sugar. For a person on a 2,200-calorie diet, that means roughly 35 teaspoons (140 grams) of sugar each day. So if you're a highly active person who burns a lot of calories and doesn't worry about weight, you may decide to sweeten things up a bit. But are 35 teaspoons of sugar a day too much for the average person? The next time you're shopping for groceries or picking out a snack, try to picture all of that sugar piled up in a bowl. Given a choice, you'd probably want to leave some of that stuff for another day. -- Chris Woolston, MS, a health and medical writer with a master's degree in biology, is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Interactive. He is coauthor of Generation Extra Large: Rescuing Our Children from the Epidemic of Obesity (Perseus, 2005).
American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. February 2004. 104(2):255-275.
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University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service. Sugar and your health. July 2000. http://www.fcs.uga.edu/pubs/PDF/FDNS-E-67a.pdf
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Center for Science in the Public Interest. Sugar content of popular foods. August 1999. http://www.cspinet.org/reports/sugar/popsugar.html
World Health Organization. WHO/FAO release independent expert report on diet and chronic disease. March 3, 2003. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/.../2003/pr20/en/
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Reviewed by Michael Potter, MD, an attending physician and associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who is board certified in family practice.