Sugar – The Sweet ‘Drug’ (Part 1)

June 5, 2015


Most people get a craving for a little something sweet each day, especially after a good meal, and that is perfectly normal. However, if you notice that you are having a chronic sweet tooth and you simply ‘must’ eat several candies per day, you might just have a problem.

Excessive sugar intake is linked to serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, stroke, and dementia, while bad teeth and weight gain are the more obvious repercussions.

How Much sugar is Too Much Sugar?

Although the recommended amount of added sugar slightly varies from person to person, the American Heart Association suggests a maximum of 6 teaspoons a day for women, which is the equivalent of one 12-ounce can of non-diet soda.

As for men, the recommended maximum is 9 teaspoons.

A research conducted back in 2009 by the American Heart Association, found that an average adult American consume around 22 teaspoons of added sugar on daily basis. The main culprit is mostly non-diet soda or soft drinks in general.

The Dangerous Habit

“Sugar addiction is a real phenomenon,” warns Nicole Avena, PhD, a food addiction researcher and assistant professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. “Research indicates that changes to brain chemicals after sugar consumption are similar to changes seen after drug use, and constantly overeating sugar leads to addiction and obesity.”

Nicole also says that the problem isn’t just the obvious sweet snacks like candy and soda. It is also the ‘invisible’ added sugar in processed foods like ketchup, salad dressing, pasta and bread.

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