Sugar? Yes, please!
Generally, sugar is associated with positive figures of speech. You wouldn’t walk up your worst enemy and say, “Yo, sweet thang! I hate your guts.” Likewise, you wouldn’t be whispering compliments to your significant other saying, “You look great tonight, broccolini.”
When we eat food our brain says “Nice job! You did it! You kept us alive!” and adds some dopamine to our feel good receptors. Some foods create more of a party than others.
Broccoli for instance...
Where sugar is more like...
Many studies show that sugar triggers a similar response in the brain as an opioid would, making it habit forming and addictive. This is nothing new. Sugar in moderation is not bad. You might even be thinking, “Yeah, I know. I only have the occasional cookie or soda. And, I put honey in my tea instead of sugar, so #health.”
But, what is classified as sugar? What does moderation mean? How many sugars are too many sugars?
Depending on the study, added sugar can be anything from the normal stuff you think of (table sugar, corn syrup) to things you don’t (beer, yogurt, honey).
The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization recommend a maximum daily intake of added sugars at around 10 percent of total energy intake. For a 2,000 calorie diet, which is what those little percentages come from on the package, that means that you should consume around 200 calories of added sugar. On the packaging, this amounts to 50 grams a day total.
How do these numbers translate to life? Three Oreo cookies are 26 percent of your recommended daily added sugar consumption. That organic peach tea from Honest Tea that is oh so good? Half of the sugar you need in a day. Two of those Snickers Miniatures that you take from Susan’s desk when she is on lunch? Almost 20 percent of your daily intake.
“Cool, a lot of depressing numbers, but I’m not going to do math whenever I eat.” If this is difficult to calculate, just double the amount of grams to get a percentage of the maximum total value. Chances are, you consume way more than the recommended amount. So if you are trying to cut back on sugar for lent, rock hard abs, or just ‘cuz, be prepared for withdrawals.
Moral of the story? Sugar is aiiight every now and again, but added sugars can be hidden anywhere. From bread to dried fruit, they are lurking around to brighten your day and addict your soul. Cheers!