We all know that excess sugar is not good for our body. It makes us fat and possibly leads to cardiovascular diseases, but do you know how much is too much? Well, researchers at University of Utah found that it is about three cans of a soft drink…
OK, they did not try this on people, but tested its toxicity on mice. They fed 25% extra sugar to the mouse (it is the equivalent of three cans of soft drinks for people). They found that female mice died twice as quickly compared to the mice that did not eat 25% more sugar. Male mice could not keep their territories and they were less likely to have offspring (which means that you won’t get a lady friend, gentlemen!)
You may think that these mice became a fat ball and got cardiovascular problems, but according to the study, the mice did not become obese; they just looked normal, but they just died from various causes. They even reduced the sugar level to half (12.5%); and they still found there was a similar decline in the health among the mice.
Do you know how much sugar (on average) a can of soft drink has? It is about 33g (about three tablespoons). If you try to eat a pile of 33g of sugar, it is not easy, but once it is dissolved in soda or other processed food, it is quite easy to eat that much sugar. About 15 to 25% of Americans eat 100g of extra sugar (nine tablespoons!) every day. No wonder we have so many health problems. Besides, as I mentioned in the previous article, most sugar is in the form of fructose, which is the most dangerous type of sugar if you take in too much.
As I am always saying, drop the soft drinks. It is a quickest way to reduce any excess sugar. A bottled tea is the same. It still has tons of sugar. If you order an iced tea at a coffee shop, again, it is the same (they cannot make iced tea without sugar, as most of them are pre-made). When you order tea or coffee, make sure that they don’t put in sugar. Control the amount of sugar you put in your drink. Reduce it gradually so that you will eventually enjoy tea or coffee without sugar.
Second, eat fruit instead of sweet treats. If you cannot satisfy yourself by eating fruit, try dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is known to be good for the health. Since the taste is quite intense, you feel like you have eaten a large quantity. Don’t keep any sweets at home (except fruit and dark chocolate). You can occasionally eat sweet treats, but when you do, you need to go out and buy one at a specialty shop or at a coffee shop. They are more expensive and you won’t buy a lot.
When you eat prepared food (such as a packaged dinner or a take-out), assume that it has tons of sugar and salt in it. Read the package carefully. Once you find out how unhealthy they are, you may not eat it again (I hope so)! It is better to cook by yourself, but if it is not easy because you are too busy, then keep frozen vegetables and frozen meat/fish on hand. Or at least get health-oriented pre-packaged food (such as Lean Cuisine). They are not great compared to your own cooking, but are much better than a take-out meal for sure.
If you really cannot drink tea or coffee without sweetener, maybe you try to use stevia. As far as I have read from scientific literatures, it is the safest sugar substitute. However, as I mentioned in one of the previous articles, any sugar substitutes may fool your brain and cause the heart problems; so if you can, try not use it.
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