If you are like most people who want to do everything they can to stay healthy, you likely know that eating too much sugar is bad for you. However, you also likely wonder “how much sugar is too much?” The good news is that you don’t have to cut sugar completely out of your diet to keep your body healthy and increase your longevity! Read on to learn how much sugar you can eat while keeping your body healthy and how the different types of sugar affect your health in different ways.
How Much Sugar is Too Much?
Most people eat each too much sugar! The average person in the US eats almost 80 grams each day. To keep your body healthy, you want to eat 25 grams each day or less.
However, as long as you keep your daily sugar intake low, you can have a special treat occasionally. You don’t have to skip that birthday cake at a birthday party, but just take small piece and if you can resist, don’t eat the frosting!
No one can follow a perfect diet all the time, but when you keep your daily sugar intake low, you can have an occasional extra treat without harming your health.
How Different Types of Sugar Affect Your Body
While it is common to call all sweeteners “sugar,” there are many different types of sugar, and some are worse for your health than others.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup and White Sugar
Two forms of sugar you should avoid eating daily include high-fructose corn syrup and white table sugar. Both are highly processed, and when you eat them, they spike your blood sugar dramatically.
What happens when your blood sugar raises quickly? Your body then secretes a hormone called insulin. This hormone helps lower your blood sugar back down. The more unhealthy sugar you eat at once, the more insulin your body must produce to battle the spike in blood sugar.
When you eat a lot of sugar often and your body keeps secreting insulin to help lower your blood sugar, this can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance then turns into type II diabetes.
When your body is pumping out insulin often to keep your blood sugar down, this process also leads to faster aging. That makes one of the keys to staying healthy and feeling young making sure you don’t eat large portions of “bad” sugars, such as high-fructose corn syrup and white sugar at once often.
Sugar in Fruit
Most people who eat healthy diets eat fruit, even though it does contain sugar. The good news is that while fruit does contain two natural forms of sugar called fructose and glucose, you can eat fruit every day without spiking your blood sugar.
Why is sugar in fruit different? When you eat a piece of fruit, it is digested slowly. This causes the sugar in it to also digest slowly, which means it doesn’t raise your blood sugar as much and your body doesn’t have to secrete a lot of insulin.
However, fruit juice isn’t as healthy for you as fruit. The sugar in fruit juice enters your blood stream just as quickly as high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar does and causes your body to secrete insulin like they do.
Other Healthier Forms of Sugar
While fruit is one of the healthiest natural sources of sugar, you can’t put fruit in that morning cup of cafe’ con leche or that iced tea you love.
When adding sugar to beverages or recipes, instead of white sugar, you can choose healthier options, such as coconut sugar and yacon syrup.
Why are these healthier than white sugar? They both have glycemic indexes, or GIs, that are much lower than white sugar and corn syrup. That means that they also don’t spike your blood sugar as dramatically as them, leading to release of insulin in your bloodstream.
Remember that while eating too much sugar is bad for your health, there is nothing wrong with adding a little to your morning cup of coffee or even eating small piece of candy each day. Just remember to limit your daily intake of sugar to about 25 grams or less, and when possible, skip the high-fructose corn syrup and white sugar and opt for the healthier options mentioned instead.
When you eat healthy every day, you can have that occasional sweet treat with no guilt!