Why Your Sugar Consumption Should NOT EXCEED 10-20% of Your Carbohydrate Calories


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Why your sugar consumption should not exceed 10% of your carbohydrate calories- Dr. Jason Jones Elizabeth City NC, Chiropractor

Sugars are commonly seen in many natural foods and drinks as simple carbohydrates. Healthful foods such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products contain sugars, which gives them a sweeter taste.

It is important for you to include these foods in your diet as they also offer a range of nutrients that gives valuable health benefits.

However, a lot of food manufacturers tend to add sugar to foods such as cereals, cake, and some beverages and drinks. These added sugars or free sugars are implicated in many health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Unlike the natural sugars found in foods and drinks, added sugars offer no nutritional value. Besides, the body digests them very quickly and they are a poor energy source.

Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for the body, and roughly half of your daily calorie intake should come from these carbohydrate-rich foods.

How much sugar is too much?

The Dietary Guideline for Americans advises that added sugars should make no more than 10% of people’s daily calorie intake. So, if you have a daily intake of 2,000 calories, your added sugar should not be more than 200 calories.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises in 2015 that people take half this amount, with no more than 5% of daily calories coming from added sugar. So, diets of 2,000 calories per day should include no more than 100 calories from added sugar. This is equivalent to 6 tsp., at the most.

What are the effects of too much sugar?

When you consume excess added sugar (beyond the recommended amount stated above), you’re at risk of the following:

Weight gain and obesity

A diet high in added sugar has been shown by studies to cause leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone produced by the body to signal to the brain that you’ve had enough food.

So, when you eat too much sugar, it may interfere with your brain’s ability to know when you’ve had enough food. This puts you at risk of weight gain and obesity.

Tooth decay

The bacteria that live in the mouth digest sugar and creates an acidic waste product. This acid erodes your teeth’ enamel, leading to cavities or holes in your teeth.

When you eat sugary foods frequently, especially in between mealtimes, in sweetened drinks, or as snacks, you are likely to have tooth decay.

Aging skin

When you consume too much added sugar in your diet, it can lead to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are linked to faster visible aging. More so, excess sugar affects the formation of collagen in the skin.


Some studies have shown that people who consume lots of added sugars in foods and drinks are more likely to develop moderate to severe acne.

Some other study suggests that when you lower your sugar consumption, it may decrease insulin-like growth factors, sebum, and androgens, all of which contributes to acne formation.

Other effects of too much sugar include:


High blood pressure


Looking at all these effects of consuming excess sugar, it is important that you limit your added sugar content in your diets below 10%. You should carefully check food labels and look out for sugar forms like brown, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, molasses, corn sweetener, malt syrup, etc.

Although some of these sugars are not harmful in small amounts, you might consume too much of them without realizing it.

A simple piece of advice for you is to avoid processed foods containing excess added sugar. Cook whole foods and get your calories from healthful foods containing sugar such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, etc.

You can consult Dr. Jason Jones at our Chiropractic Office at Elizabeth City, NC to learn more about carbohydrates to add to your diet to get your daily calorie needs.

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