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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cool Infographic: America's Sugar Addiction

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Sugar Addition in America.
In the 1990’s, American obesity rates soared and became public health enemy numero uno. The answer, it seemed, was to produce a whole lot of low-fat and fat-free foods. What did food producers do to satisfy the newly health-conscious consumer? They were able to slash the fat content of food and replace it with a lot of sugar. Here we are, nearly 20 years later and obesity rates continues to soar, as do rates of diabetes and heart disease.

One of the major problems with sugar is how our body metabolizes it. If we eat too much of certain types of sugar (think high-fructose corn syrup), our liver has to work really hard to process it and will convert most of the sugar into fat. This process can lead to insulin resistance, which is a major contributor to obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease.

Here are 3 simple tips for cutting sugar intake:
  • Don't make desserts a regular part of every meal - Save them for special occasions or weekend treats.
  • Skip breakfast cereal -  Most cereals are loaded with sugar, which sets you up for hunger and fatigue for the whole day.  Try having fruit, yogurt, and nuts or light cheese instead.
  • Say farewell to soda and fruit juice - These sugary drinks are also high in calories, so choose water flavored with fresh lemon or lime, seltzer, tea, milk, or plain water instead.
Infographic credit: August Harris-Early/Sloan Rachmuth - HEALTHeME