Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
It is very common for people of all ages to grab a can of soft drink at any time as it makes you feel good. It is also very common for one to grab a few for a day without realising how much added sugar they are actually putting in their bodies. However, flavoured drinks, especially soft drinks, actually contain much more sugar than one can imagine.
Sugar can cause a lot of health problems
Constant excessive intake of sugar can lead to various health problems, such as skin issues, cardiovascular diseases, tooth decay, obesity and others.
A simpler way to put this is that bacteria are fed on sugar. Having excessive sugar in your daily food intake allows the growth of bacteria and subsequently the complications it leads to, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, and obesity. Sugar also affects certain pathways that the body is using to regulate and function.
A 2018 study of university students in China showed that those who drank sweetened drinks seven times per week or more were more likely to develop moderate or severe acne.
Not all sugar is bad.
No that is not the case. Sugar can be categorised into natural sugar and added sugar. Natural sugars are the ones that occur naturally in vegetables and fruits. These sugars are generally healthier and better for our bodies. However it is important to note that moderation is the key. It does not mean that it is safe either to consume in excess even though it is deemed healthy.
Added sugar is the main ingredient in candy and can be found in many processed foods, such as soft drinks and baked products. The most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup. These are the ones that can cause increased risks of complications.
Image credit: Verywell Health
Sugar-replacements are not an ideal alternative.
It is very common for us to trade the sugary products with the ones that are labelled sugar-free just because it is advertised as lower or no calorie. However, making that swap does not necessarily mean that it is healthier.
It is true that consumption of sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose is likely to be beneficial for diabetes and tooth decay. However, it is common for people to feel bloated and feel uneasy with their stomach after consuming artificial sweeteners. Some artificial sweeteners may cause unpleasant symptoms, such as headaches, depression, and seizures in certain individuals. Some would also experience weight gain, poor blood sugar control, metabolic syndrome, a weakened immune system, and disrupted sleep.
Therefore, it is better to avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners in general and opt to consume natural sugars if needed, but in moderation.
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