Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar each year, which breaks down to almost 3 pounds (or 6 cups!) of sugar each week. That’s a lot of sugar – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to that sugar may be a key factor contributing to our national obesity epidemic.
Obesity increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, two of the leading causes of kidney disease. To protect your kidneys, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and follow a healthy diet. This means paying attention to food nutrition labels and considering the impact sugar – in addition to fat, sodium and other ingredients — has on our diets.
Sucrose, commonly known as “table sugar” is made from highly processed sugar cane or sugar beets. It is the most popular added ingredient to dessert foods such as candy, cakes and cookies. Additionally, sugar is also often added to foods and drinks that you may not consider “sweet,” so you might not realize they contain high levels of sugar. Added sugars don't add anything but empty calories, so in other words, there's no extra nutritional benefit to consuming these sugars. To help control your sugar intake, here are five sneaky sources of sugar you may want to avoid:
High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Soda is a prime example of a drink that contains empty calories. It provides no nutritional value and is likely to contribute to weight gain. A can of soft drink has about seven teaspoons of sugar. To burn off one 12oz can/bottle of cola (152 calories), a person who weighs 150 – 160 pounds would need to walk briskly for approximately 30 minutes.
Many thanks to Susan Lupackino, MHS, RD, LDN for her contributions to this article.
Susan Lupackino is a Registered Dietitian (RD) who is passionate about helping others live a healthier and active lifestyle. For more information about Susan visit www.foodisgood.co.