Recent research published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation looked at a model that may predict changes in cardiometabolic illness (particularly type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity) as well as healthcare expenditures if sugar reduction objectives were implemented. The National Salt and Sugar Reduction Initiative (NSSRI) in the United States suggested voluntary sugar reduction objectives in 2018. Except for sugar-sweetened drinks, which were aimed for a 40% reduction, each of the 15 food groups had a 20 per cent decrease in average sugar content by the end of 2026. Diet data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2016, sugar-related illnesses from a variety of different research studies, and health-related expenditures were all factored into the model.
According to the findings, a government-backed sugar reduction strategy may save 2.5 million cardiovascular disease events (strokes, heart attacks, and cardiac arrests), 500,000 cardiac deaths, and 750,000 instances of diabetes in individuals aged 35 to 80 in the United States during their lifetimes. According to the statistics, reducing sugar consumption may save $160.88 billion in net expenses over the course of a lifetime. Read the nutritional information on the food label. "Added sugars" are now included under total carbs on food labels. To figure out how much additional sugar you're ingesting, look at the number of grams per serving. A good place to start is to try to keep your added sugar intake below the AHA's guidelines.
What’s the difference between natural sugars and added sugars?
Sugars occur naturally in foods such as milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Natural sugar may be found in any food containing milk (yoghurt, milk, and cream) or fruit (fresh, dried, and frozen).
Any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during manufacture or preparation are considered added sugars (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal). Sugar-sweetened drinks, desserts, and sweet snacks are the most common sources of added sugars in the American diet. Cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, ice cream, frozen dairy desserts, doughnuts, sweet rolls, and pastries are examples of desserts and sweet snacks. Natural sugars like white sugar, brown sugar, and honey, as well as chemically produced caloric sweeteners, are examples of added sugars (such as high fructose corn syrup).
Review the food product's ingredient list. Sugar has at least 55 different names on food labels. Honey, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, cane syrup, molasses, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, carob syrup, corn syrup solids, dehydrated cane sugar, fruit juice, invert sugar, grape sugar, mannitol, raw sugar, rice syrup, sorbitol, beet sugar, and so on are some examples. Another source of information to assist identify excessively sugared products is the ingredient list.
If you use added sugar in your coffee or tea on a daily basis, consider cutting back to half the amount. There's no need to go cold turkey. It takes some time to become used to drinking and eating fewer sugary beverages and meals. Keep in mind that one teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams of added sugar, so this must be factored into your daily limit.
Keep note of how many sweets or foods with a lot of added sugar you eat in a day or week if you have a severe sweet tooth. Start by reasoning with yourself to restrict yourself to one sweet each day if you eat a sweet twice a day — a midday granola bar and ice cream at night. After two weeks, you may think about cutting back on sweets to five days a week instead of seven, and so forth. Gradually decreasing in this manner can help you from feeling completely deprived of your sweet pleasure while also preventing you from feeling guilty when you do indulge because it is part of your plan.
If you do drink sugar-sweetened beverages, start by lowering the portion size, such as from a 12-ounce to a 6-ounce serving. Another option is to substitute flavoured seltzer or water with a touch of lime or a splash of fruit juice for these beverages.
Added sugar has a huge influence on our health and healthcare expenses. On a personal level, there are a few techniques we may use to start the process of reducing added sugar in our diets. On a societal level, supporting a government-sponsored decrease in added sugar may save lives and save healthcare costs significantly.