On Tuesday, the World Health Organization released its updated guidelines on sugar intake urging adults and the young to limit their daily sugar intake to less than 10 percent of their daily amount of calories.
According to the public health agency, people should reduce daily sugar consumption to six to 12 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Added sugars are not naturally occurring sugars such as fructose in fruits and honey, lactose in milk, or starch in potatoes or corn. Instead, they are sugar carbohydrates that are artificially added by the industry in processed foods and beverages.
Also, WHO claims that the more we cut down on those sugars the more health benefits we get. Reducing sugar intake to less than 5 percent of calories “would provide additional health benefits”, WHO writes in its report, such as a low risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free [added] sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,”
Francesco Branca, a WHO expert in nutrition and child development, said in a public statement.
Additionally, WHO urged governments to start issuing new public health policies to support a healthy sugar consumption within their borders if they plan on reducing obesity, diabetes, and other sugar-related but preventable diseases.
The UN’s agency stated that it had a steady body of evidence about adults who eat less sugar being healthier, as well as about children who drink too many sweetened beverages being overweight or obese.
WHO also warned that many added sugars are hidden by the makers in seemingly harmless products. For example, in a tablespoon of sweet ketchup hides about a teaspoon of added sugar. Moreover, a can of regular soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar. And the list may go on.
Previous studies showed that an excessive added sugar intake increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer. More and more studies reveal that sugar literally feeds cancer and nearly doubles the risk of contracting it.
But in order to follow the new guidelines, Americans should cut their average sugar intake by two-thirds since more than 13 percent of calories in an average American’s meal plan consists in added sugars, while children consume even more.
In February, the USDA issued a new set of dietary guidelines, which also suggested that the daily sugar intake should be less than 10 percent of the total energy intake.
Image Source: Toby Amidor Nutrition
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