Morning Rounds: Dangers of excess sugar consumption

NORFOLK, Va - Following a new report about the health dangers of excess sugar, News 3 is taking a closer look at how much sugar is too much.  News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light explained the health hazards of sugar on News 3 This Morning.

News 3: How much added sugar should we consume in a day?

Dr. Light: The FDA recommends that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories come from added sugars. That's 50 grams, or about 12.5 teaspoons, if you're on a 2,000-calorie diet. Other organizations suggest an even lower limit.  The American Heart Association recommends that men consume less than 150 calories from added sugar (9 teaspoons) and women consume less than 100 calories from added sugar (6 teaspoons) daily.   For example, one can of soda typically contains 120-150 calories from sugar.  There is no nutritional need for additional sugar in the diet.  Extra sugar calories are stored as fat by the body.

News 3:  How much natural sugar should we consume from fruits and vegetables daily?

Dr. Light:  Sugars found in fruits and vegetables are broken down differently by the body than processed sugars.  Fruits and vegetables contain complex sugars and fiber which must be broken down prior to the body absorbing them.  This digestion slows the absorption and therefore minimizes the spike in blood sugar and leads to less fat storage.  The recommended daily allowance for fruits and vegetables is 5 to 9 servings.

News 3: What are the dangers and risks of consuming too much sugar?

Dr. Light: Increased calories from the consumption of additional sugar results in obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes.  Consuming a diet high in sugar also increases your risks for dental caries.  Sugar feeds the bacteria that create cavities.

News 3: How can we minimize sugar in our diet?

Dr. Light:  Avoid and limiting the following foods:

  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Candies
  • Desserts
  • Canned fruits
  • Low -fat or diet foods (often the fat content is replaced with additional sugars)