We add it to our coffee. It’s in our favorite, on-the-go breakfasts. We sprinkle it in baked goods and pastries. And it’s lurking deep within our favorite processed foods and drinks — like those delicious Frappuccinos! There’s no denying we really love sugar.
But while sugar makes life sweeter and summer all the more enjoyable, this excessive bad habit’s consumption rate is often swept under the radar. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the average adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, while children consume on average an estimated 10 more. Though they don’t provide specific recommendations on how much we should consume a day, the American Heart Association suggests at least 9.5 teaspoons.
As one of the more dangerous substances we ingest on a daily basis, refined sugar is linked to a long list of ailments like obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, acne, depression, mood swings and fatigue — just to name a few.
While slashing sugar from your diet can be tricky because it’s in literally everything, there’s no need for paranoia. Watch for dietary information on labels and choose more natural choices like stevia, honey, brown sugar or agave. But if you’re not feeling 100 percent or are experiencing oddities in your well-being, chances are you might be experiencing signs of over-consumption.