Sugar! We love sugar and consume it in mass quantities. It is everywhere, and in much larger amounts than we realize. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams) of added sugar for men and no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar for women each day.

I was curious so I went and found how much sugar there was in items that the average person consumes. It was crazy!! I’ll share a few so you can see what I mean.

One regular size Snickers bar has 6.75 teaspoons of sugar. A single bag of M&Ms has 7.5 teaspoons of sugar! A Dove chocolate bar has 5.5 teaspoons of sugar.

One can of Coke has 8.25 teaspoons of sugar (Pepsi had just a little bit more). Mountain Dew has 11.5 teaspoons of sugar in it!! And how many drink more than one can of soda a day?? That is a lot of sugar!

One bowl of Fruit Loops has 10.5 teaspoons of sugar. Cocoa Puffs has 9.25 teaspoons of sugar. Lucky Charms have 9 teaspoons of sugar per serving. How many of us give our kids a bowl of cereal to start the day? We are maxing them out on sugar before they are even dressed!!

These are just a few examples, I urge you to do some research on the food you regularly eat.

Excessive amounts of sugar are known to lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, liver damage, decreased HDL and increased LDL (good and bad cholesterols), and even cancer. That is a list of things I would prefer to not deal with.

So how do we get our bodies the sugar they need for energy? There are natural whole foods out there that provide our bodies with just what it needs. Fruit!! There is no added sugar in fruit and it won’t cause a spike in blood sugar or increase weight because it is naturally packaged with the right phytonutrients. That is why eating fruit in its whole, natural state is recommended.

One mango has 3.2 teaspoons of sugar. Apples and pineapples both have under 3 teaspoons of sugar. Grapes 4 teaspoons of sugar. And a banana has 3 teaspoons of sugar. Less sugar (meaning you can eat more) and the sugars are much better for you!!

This week’s health challenge at Hotmess Fitness has been to go the week without refined sugars (white cane sugar, corn syrups, inverted sugars, high fructose corn syrups…). It has been hard. It has forced us to think a little more about the foods we are putting into our bodies. It has brought awareness to just how much sugar we are eating. So join us and see how much sugar you can eliminate!! You will be healthier and feel better!!