My favorite quote from the 3rd Men in Black movie is spoken by Will Smith’s character Agent J. When Agent K asks him “What’s the most destructive power in the universe?” he replies, “I don’t know, sugar?” The correct answer in the movie was regret, and it is destructive as well, but I agree with Agent K. The average American consumes around 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar every day and much of it is hidden. The recommended sugar intake for adult women is 5 teaspoons (20 grams) of sugar per day, for adult men, it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams) daily, and for children, it’s 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day.
Becoming aware of sugar consumption and staying within the guidelines is a great first step for any healthy eating plan. To help you be aware of your personal eating pattern, pick one typical day and write down everything you eat – meals, snacks, and drinks. Read the labels of all processed food, for example, there are 39 grams (9.13tsp.) of sugar in 12oz. of coke, bottles are 20oz. and have 69 grams (17tsp.) of sugar. Just one of these drinks puts us over. Also, notice how sugar makes you feel. Sugar makes me hungry and then it makes me sick! I don’t eat candy or milk chocolate any more because it just makes me want more. Try switching to dark chocolate – 2 dark rich squares a day is so satisfying it is enough. ( 72% cocoa is best) Read the label, if it says dark chocolate but doesn’t give a percentage, it is not as high and will help you to step up to 72%.