I ran across the documentary Fed Up while perusing Netflix one weekend. It is a film that investigates the food industry’s influence on U.S. dietary guidelines and the resulting impact on the health of Americans.
According the to documentary, many diseases can be attributed to the amount of sugar we consume on a daily basis. The amount has increased dramatically in less than 40 years and so have heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Sugar is added to everything – ketchup, pasta sauce, salad dressing, breakfast cereals, juice and energy drinks, baked goods, yogurt, and even baby formula. And more.
The addiction to sugar starts young. Addiction? Yes, addiction. One study showed that of 43 cocaine-addicted rats given the choice between cocaine and sugar water over 15 days, 40 of them opted for sugar!
Another problem is that, unlike fat, protein, salt or any other nutrient, there is no recommended daily allowance for sugar. Look at a nutrition label. See what’s missing? A percentage for the daily recommendation is not given for sugar because the government hasn’t set one. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends less than 5% of your daily caloric intake come from sugar, but Americans on average consume almost 10 times that amount.
And don’t be fooled by fancy names. Molasses, sucrose, fructose, glucose, anhydrous dextrose, malt syrup and honey are all sugar.
Although the documentary is a couple of years old, it is definitely worth sitting down with your family and watching. On a personal note, since watching it, my husband has been on a mission to cut sugar and eat more healthfully (something I have been trying to do for years!). He downloaded an app to help him watch his diet (more on that in a future blog) and has lost 26 pounds, to date!
Photo from here, with thanks.