A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but healthcare experts warn that America’s addiction to sugar and sweeteners has reached epidemic levels. In fact, it has become the root cause of many chronic illnesses.
Sugar is the most popular ingredient added to America’s favorite food and drinks. Besides being a key ingredient in cakes, cookies, and candies, it’s also added to many processed foods like ketchup, crackers, bread, soups, cereals, and salad dressings.
According to a public health report, 200 years ago the average American ate only two pounds of sugar a year. Today, that number is a whopping 152 pounds of sugar on average annually per person. Nutritionists recommend that we should eat no more than 10% of our daily calories from sugar, but we’re consuming double that amount, if not more. Americans eat more sugar than any other country in the world, says WorldAtlas.
Sweeteners not only cause cavities but may be responsible for the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and non-alcoholic liver disease. It’s not the occasional splurge that has medical experts concerned. It is the high daily intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, cakes, cookies, ice cream and foods with hidden sugar that’s worrisome, says Healthline.
“What happens is that Americans are having dessert several times a day and don’t know it,” says Dr. Alan Greene, a world-renowned pediatrician and a board member of the Institute for Responsible Nutrition.
It’s time to put the brakes on our runaway sugar addiction, says Dr. Daryl Gioffre, certified nutritionist, founder of Alkamind and author of best-selling books, Get Off Your Sugar and Get Off Your Acid.
“The reason we’re in trouble is that sugar is addicting,” he tells Newsmax. “In fact, a peer-reviewed study found that sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine.” Gioffre points out that not only does sugar play a role in every major disease, but it also affects the organs of the body.
“As we eat more sugar, we prematurely age our cells, compromising the liver, impairing brain function, and increasing our risk of cancer,” he says. Gioffre points out that during the pandemic more people began eating to cope with stress and turned to sugary products for comfort.
“Comfort foods are loaded with sugar, and the reality is, they don’t comfort us at all,” says Gioffre. “They actually increase the stress load because these foods lead to inflammation. And the more sugar you eat, the more you’re going to burn for energy, and therefore, the more you’re going to crave. It literally becomes a vicious cycle, feeding sugar addiction.”
Rather that eliminating sugar altogether, the expert advises making smart swaps.
“Start eating foods that strengthen your body like adding more dark, leafy greens and healthy fats to your diet,” says Gioffre. “Swap sugar-filled ice cream and popsicles with frozen banana treats.” You’ll find more suggestions here.
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