Just how dangerous is sugar?

Taking a deeper look into how much sugar we consume on a daily basis.

Last week, I wrote an article on how addictive sugar is for you, and the main punch line is that your body is probably storing excess sugar as fat without even using it.

This week we will look at what you can do in order to help reduce your daily sugar consumption. Sugar, and the way we consume it, is a massive reason why you have unwanted fat and I am going to break it down into bite-size chunks, so that you can take action today.

I am in no way giving you a diet. For that, you would need to go and see any modern nutritionist. I am giving you a framework to curb your sugar addiction. A byproduct of successfully sticking to this framework will mean a reduction in body fat and you will feel healthier and more energetic. More importantly, you will dramatically reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.

Step 1 – Know your limits

Recommend Daily Allowance according to the American heart association

Baby (6 months) – 9 grams (2tsp)

Child (4 to 6years) – 19 grams (4tsp)

Adult Female – 25 grams (6tsp)

Adult Male – 37.6 grams (9tsp)

The above information does not consider your RDA carbohydrate intake but is purely based on what you are allowed in sugar form, which comes in various shapes or forms. If you exceed this allowance, your goal will be to become aware of what food and drinks are causing you to have too much added sugar in your nutritional plan.

The next step is bringing the culprits to the front of the line and holding them accountable.

Step 2 – Identify the Culprits

Can of Soda (250ml)
140 Calories
39 grams
9 teaspoons

Have this instead:
Water

Fruit Juice Blend (330ml)
158 calories
39.2 grams
9.3 Teaspoons

Have this instead:
100% Freshly Squeeze Juice

4 slices of white Bread
212 calories
6 grams of sugar
1.4 teaspoons

Have this instead:
Cauliflower bread

Slab of Milk Chocolate (100g)
520 Calories
56.2 grams of sugar
13.4 teaspoons

Have this instead:
Dark Chocolate (70% or higher)

Small Yoghurt (100g)
72 calories
9.1grams
2.2 teaspoons

Have this instead:
Full cream Greek yoghurt with fresh mixed berries

Medium Blueberry Muffin (100g)
377 calories
33 grams
8 teaspoons

Have this instead:

Homemade apple, banana, and carrot muffin

Step 3 – Understanding

If you had to take this exercise a step further and increase the analysis of how much hidden sugars are in most of the products you consume, you will quickly understand why you have those unwanted bulges. Everything has to be taken into context and nothing is as simple as it seems, but for the sake of the war on sugar argument, your goal is to reduce the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis. This can be done by making wiser choices when you are confronted with different options. By reducing your sugar intake and food portions and exercising daily will have a massively positive effect on your weight, mood, and confidence.

When your body eats too much sugar, your pancreas releases insulin, which you know by now, causes your body to store excess glucose as fat. Insulin is also responsible for affecting a hormone known as Leptin which basically sends a signal to your brain that you are full. It is the body’s natural appetite suppressant. When your body is subjected to long periods of insulin release, your body not only becomes carb resistance but leptin resistant.

So now you are left with your brain not listening to the signal that you are full, and this leads to your weight gain. High fructose corn syrup, which is found in most drinks and foods, have this instant effect which you get after eating a full big fast food meal with soda, but you don’t have the satisfaction that you are full, and thus over-eat.

Leptin resistance allowed our ancestors to eat big meals in times when there was plenty of food and excess ingested food was stored as fat in case of famine, which was quite frequent. In our current modern society, you are eating as if there will be no food tomorrow and this is why you are getting fat. The reason why you are getting fatter faster is because of the free availability of sugar, which has somehow made it into nearly all of our modern foods.


Sean Van Staden

Sean Van Staden is the proud husband of an amazing woman and mom and the ‘Daddy Pig’ – (thank you Pepper Pig for brainwashing my children, in a good way) – of two little Gremlins, Jordan and Haylee, who are fast approaching three and four years of age. In his quest to give his children the tools to succeed, Sean’s blog tackles topics of nutrition, physical development, exercise, mental toughness, building confidence, self-esteem, sport, wellness, and just about anything that will help his children, and hopefully yours, grow in the right direction.

You can find Sean at ASP – Sports Science

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