Did you know that Tennessee has the second highest sugar consumption in the nation, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Four out of every 10 state residents drink soda or fruit drinks every day.
While the sugar found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products can be good for you, consuming too much added sugar, like the kind in candy, ice cream and soda, can negatively affect your health.
Here are some facts on added sugar that you need to know.
Sugar Is Everywhere
Although the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to about six teaspoons per day for women and nine teaspoons per day for men, you’re probably consuming much more than that. It’s often because sugar is added to many foods. If you scan labels at the grocery store, you’ll see sugar in almost every product, even the ones you wouldn’t normally think of, like ketchup, pasta sauce and salad dressing.
Learn more about healthy eating.*
Sugar Can Be Addictive
Have youever tried to reduce the amount of sugar you eat, but still experience intense cravings? According to scientific research, we crave sugar because it releases chemicals like dopamine and serotonin that give you a feeling of happiness and pleasure, commonly known as a “sugar rush.” Over time, this can become addictive, and when you try to cut back on sugar, you may experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Sugar Is Linked to Multiple Health Problems
Eating sugar is linked to a variety of health issues, from weight gain to diabetes, according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand found that eating large amounts of sugar can also cause high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Sugar Affects Your Mood
While eating sugar can temporarily make you feel better, it can also lead to mood disorders. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that the consumption of added sugar found in sweetened beverages and refined foods like cake and pastries is associated with an increased risk of depression.
How do you cut back on your sugar consumption? Let us know in a comment below!
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.