“America’s Diet: Too Sweet by the Spoonful” was this week’s New York Times Personal Health article by Jane Brody. The bottom line of the article says that we are over-eating sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many, many, of our foods and it is leading to obesity and heart disease.

Believe it or not, studies are finding that high sugar diets can increase metabolic syndrome, which may lead to diabetes and heart disease. So let’s think about it.

Sinful Sugar

The current dietary recommendation is 8 teaspoons of sugar each day. In 8 ounces of fruit juice there are 8 teaspoons of sugar! What happens to the rest of your day? How much sugar is in candy, cake, cookies, or ice cream? Drinking regular soda or fruit juice throughout the day is just too much sugar. Eating fruit is preferred, or just having more moderate amounts of fruit juice if you must. Even try a low sodium vegetable juice for less sugar/carbohydrates. According to Dr. George Bray, a specialist in obesity and metabolism, fructose (or fruit sugar) is metabolized primarily in the liver and encourages formation of fats.

My message to you is: eat fruit, but limit sugar or sweets (at least be very moderate) to help avoid heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes and obesity.

Marci Sloane

Marci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in NYC where she graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University.

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