If you are like most people, you probably consume a fair amount of added sugar every day, whether it’s intentional or not. We all enjoy a tasty sweet treat, sure, but truthfully, many people don’t even realize just how much added sugar they actually consume in their food and beverages. Added sugar is found in everything from baked goods to pasta sauce. While sugar enhances the flavor of a whole variety of foods, it also adds empty calories to your diet without adding any nutrients. Why does this matter, you ask? Consuming too much added sugar can actually worsen your pain levels and other symptoms in a number of ways.

As your trusted Littleton chiropractor, we believe there’s nothing more important than your health, which is why we’ll explore some surprising, and even disturbing, facts about added sugar and why you should limit consumption of this common ingredient as much as possible.

Is Added Sugar Really That Bad?

The sad truth is, yes, it really is that bad. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about sugar that may surprise you, but before we do, here are some eye-opening statistics about added sugar.

  • Studies show that in 2003-2010, Americans over the age of six consumed nearly 14% of their total daily calories from added sugars.
  • Women should limit added sugar consumption to six teaspoons / 25 grams / 100 calories or less.
  • Men should limit their consumption to nine teaspoons / 36 grams / 150 calories or less.

Two Types of Sugars

There’s a difference between the two types of sugars we consume:

  • Naturally occurring sugars – Found in all foods that contain carbohydrates, such as fruit, vegetables, dairy, and grains, for example. Foods with naturally occurring sugars are good to consume since these foods provide many other nutrients our bodies need that can actually reduce the risk of health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
  • Added sugars – Just as the name implies — any sugar or sweeteners added to foods and beverages when they are being processed or prepared to enhance the flavor or extend the shelf life of different foods and drinks.  

Sugar Contributes (and Causes) Inflammation

The Arthritis Foundation reports that sugar is one of the top inflammatory foods that can actually stimulate the release of cytokines, the body’s inflammatory messengers, which activate in response to an injury or infection. Sugar can trigger inflammation, which may add to pain and discomfort in different areas of the body.

Sugar Has Many Names

Added sugar has many names, which can make it hard to know what kind of sugar you’re consuming. Here’s a handy list to keep in mind when you’re reading the labels to determine how much sugar and what kind of sugar your chosen food or beverage contains:

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Raw sugar
  • Syrup
  • Invert sugar

Talk to Your Chiropractor

While you may not be able to completely cut out added sugar, do your best to limit your intake. Your body will thank you!

Here at Arne Wellness Center in Littleton, we offer a range of services to help you live a healthy, happy life. From chiropractic care to massage therapy to acupuncture and natural medicine, we’re passionate about providing treatments that can target and treat your specific pain, injury, or health condition. By focusing on your whole-body health, we can help you achieve your health and wellness goals, so talk to Dr. Arne about your sugar consumption concerns and we can help guide you in the right direction. Schedule a chiropractic appointment today!