How Much Sugar We Really Eat
Carbohydrates, in any form, end up as blood sugar once we’ve eaten it (so do proteins in the end).
In terms of weight loss, “sugar” comes from bread (any “color” or type or organic or local or sprouted), pasta, muffins, pancakes, buns, wraps, fruit, potatoes, cereals, grains, oatmeal, quinoa, corn, yogurt, milk, honey, syrups, jams, rice of any color, juices, and more.
It comes too, but in much lesser amounts, from green beans, spinach, kale, broccoli, and all the other healthy veggies we need.
Carbohydrates, from any source, get converted to sugar.
Let’s look at an average North American day:
A “healthy breakfast” of low fat blueberry yogurt, oatmeal with a bit of honey, and a banana = approximately 70 carbs - IF, you only have one actual “serving” of each, and most of us eat more than that. (Most of these types of breakfast reach 130+ carbs). If you had 1 cup of orange juice add another 25-30 carbs. Breakfast can easily reach 100 -200 carbs even if we’re attempting to be healthy about it!
Lunch at a local fast food joint can reach 250 carbs; more if we add a desert item. A healthy lunch of a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread and a small bag of baked potato chips is around 75 carbs, IF you have nothing else at all with it.
Dinners that include potatoes, or corn, or pasta, or breads, or buns, or rice (brown, white, red, or whatever!), quinoa, or low-fat salad dressings, can easily reach carbs in the hundreds. Add desert and don’t bother counting anymore.
Add cream and sugar in your coffee, sauces on your meat, condiments, drinks, a beer, pizza, breaded foods, the odd snack of this or that and doctors who deal with weight loss are stating numbers like 600-800+ carbs per day for most people. That equals from 120 to 160 teaspoons of sugar a day that our poor bodies are attempting to deal with!
The easy way to figure out your Real sugar intake is to count your total carbohydrates for the day (Don’t cheat! Count the “tiny bit” of honey (16 carbs per teaspoon!), the milk in your coffee (1-2 carbs per teaspoon), the ketchup on the French fries (3-4 carbs per tablespoon) and divide that number by 5. So, 100 total carbohydrates / 5 = 20 teaspoons of sugar.
Be aware that many foods listed as "0" carbs per serving can actually have nearly 1 carb. By law, as long as its just under 1 carb it can be listed as 0. One serving (a tablespoon) of whipping cream may be listed as 0 carbs, but a cup of it (in a recipe for instance) will contain about 14 carbs.
We need, without wanting to burn fat, about 8 teaspoons of sugar a day to function optimally. That will include 3 decent workouts a week. Translation: bout 40 carbohydrates per day.
To lose weight most of us must get our total sugar intake down to around 6 teaspoons (or 30 total carbs) a day. Aim for 10 carbs total per meal. If you tend to be insulin resistant, as pretty much anyone is who is thinking about losing weight, you may have to stay at this range to maintain healthy weight.
I know, you had been thinking, “But I don’t eat sugar!” Now you know.