It’s no secret that sugar can cause serious health issues, like heart disease and diabetes, but did you know it affects your mental health too? Even conscious consumers focused on healthy habits may not be aware of the places that sugar is sneaking into our diets. Let’s dig deep into the effects of sugar, and get to the bottom of why we’re still consuming more than we should.
How much sugar are we really consuming?
Short answer: a lot more than we should.
How much sugar the average American consumes in one day
The amount recommended by the ADA
The largest source of added sugar in the average American diet is Sugar Sweetened Beverages.
of US adults drink at least one sugar sweetened beverages a day
of US kids drink at least one sugar sweetened beverage a day
Sugar Sweetened Beverages generally have little to no fiber, protein or fat, making them significantly worse than food products with added sugar, as they typically also have protein and/or fat. And it’s not just soda — this includes many juices, iced tea, sports & energy drinks.
“ From my work as a nutritionist, I know firsthand that added sugars and even too much natural sugar in something like orange juice can wreak havoc on us internally. It impacts everything from mood to metabolic goals - and in kids, their ability to learn. “
Author of Body Love, holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and celebrity health coach.
Not all beverages are built the same
Sugar Content in Common Beverages
Sugar is a major factor in heart disease - the leading cause of death in the US.
Cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks could be prevented by cutting 20% of sugar from processed foods, and 40% from beverages.
the invisible impact
Obseity & diabetes are what make the headlines
But, what we do not talk enough about, is the hidden weight of sugar — and its serious impact on our mental and emotional health.
We think of sugar as lifting our mood, but scientific findings have shown the exact opposite.
Excess sugar is associated with a greater risk of mood disorders, anxiety, depression and dementia in adults. In fact, people eating a processed food diet - rich in sugar, poor in whole foods, have been shown to have a
the endless cycle
We know it’s bad. So why is it so hard to stop?
1. Sugar is addictive.
Sugar activates a release of the feel good hormone, dopamine. It also activates opiate receptors in our brain, which makes us crave more of it.
2. Endless Cycle
of Sugar Consumption
3. It’s everywhere.
One study recently found that soda is in nearly 30 locations in an average grocery store. But it doesn’t stop there, from salad dressings and condiments to cereal, yogurt, granola bars and “healthy” snacks, forms of sugar sneak into almost all packaged foods.
Number of locations
Soda is found in an average grocery store
4. Confusing messaging on what is healthy.
Even foods and beverages with labels like “healthy”, “natural”, “low fat”, “lite”, “organic”, “green”, “No GMO”, “conscious”, “vegan” can all contain added sugar. The only way to find out is by looking at the nutritional label.
It is time to take action and break the cycle
An easy switch:
1. Swap out the Sugar Sweetened Beverages for better-for-you choices.
As we discussed above, there are tons of reasons why it is hard to quit sugar sweetened beverages. Water is always good, and there are also choices that capture the best qualities of sugar sweetened beverages without the health detriments. Sound - hey thats us- is a great replacement for your morning energy drink or afternoon coke.
“ The foods you eat wield amazing power over the state of your blood sugar. “
Dr Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC
Incorporating fat, protein & green leafy veggies are among a few of Dr Will Cole's tips & tricks on cutting sugar but also feeling satisfied (delicious recipes included!).
2. Information is power:
Study up on nutrition labels to learn what is healthy for you.
Look for things like fiber and added sugar on labels. Sugar activates a release of the feel good hormone, dopamine. It also activates opiate receptors in our brain, which makes us crave more of it. You can also get involved in school programming to curb sugar consumption in kids from a young age!
3. Make a commitment:
You can do anything for 21 days
Ready to say au revoir to sugar? Join our #CutSugar Challenge and gain discounts to some of our favorite good-for-you brands (Sound included 😉), delicious no added sugar recipes, as well as access to webinars from some of our favorite experts in the space. Let's find the sweet in unsweetened together!
Things you won’t
have to give up
When you cut Sugar Sweeted Beverages