including sugars, comprise the body's primary source of energy.
Sugar occurs naturally in many foods (i.e., fruits and dairy
products), but there are countless processed foods that contain
high amounts of refined sugar. A little sugar is OK, but too
much can contribute to poor overall diet and poor health.
The figures show that Americans consume far too much sugar
on a daily basis.
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 1994-1996
Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, 15,010 people
two years of age and older recorded a 24-hour recall of dietary
intake. Researchers calculated intake of added sweeteners,
paying specific attention to average intake from all sources
and from specific categories; contribution of added sweeteners
to total energy intake; and percentage contribution of each
food category to total added sweetener intake.
- An average of 82 grams of carbohydrates per day came
from added sweeteners, accounting for 16% of total energy
intake. (Nutritional guidelines recommend that between 6-10%
of carbohydrates come from sugars.)
- Adolescents consumed the most added sweeteners as a percentage
of energy (20% of total energy intake).
- The primary sources of added sweeteners were soft drinks
(33%), sweets (candies, syrups, honey, table sugar 16.1%),
and sweetened grains (cookies and cakes 12.9%).
If you're consuming a lot of sugar, you're probably not
getting enough of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients
your body needs to function properly. In fact, the sweeteners
Americans seem to consume most frequently (non-diet soft drinks,
candy, syrups and jellies, etc.) possess no nutritional value
whatsoever except for the sugar. Teach your children about
the importance of a balanced diet that minimizes consumption
of refined sugar. Your doctor of chiropractic can evaluate
the nutritional status of your family and suggest appropriate
modifications to maximize wellness. Guthrie JF, Morton JF.
Food sources of added sweeteners in the diets of Americans.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2000: Vol. 100,
Tucker KL, Hannan MT, Chen H, et al. Potassium, magnesium,
and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater
bone mineral density in elderly men and women. The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 1999: Vol. 69, No.