Our first blog entry is about the negative health effects of too much sugar in the diet. This is intentional: Sugar intake is under our control, and excessive intake can cause significant health and medical problems.
Excessive dietary sugar is a major contributor to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many other chronic health problems. Reducing your daily sugar intake and educating yourself about the deleterious effects of sugar on your body is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health.
Sugar is truly addictive. Excessive consumption of sugar causes sugar cravings, which then prompt us to eat still more sugar. Consuming excessive sugar changes the hormones in our body that govern weight and liver function among other things. The fat sugar adds in our bodies leads to weight gain , These impacts can cause a cascade of bad health effects, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease obesity, muscle loss, and even brain damage and reduced brain function.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men. The AHA recommends between 3 and 6 teaspoons (12-25 grams) per day for children (less for younger children).
As your doctor, I highly recommend that you reduce your sugar intake, whether you are overweight or not. Along with exercise, reducing sugar (and increasing whole foods) is one of the three most impactful moves you can make to improve your health and wellness.
Take the 6 month challenge: Limit your added sugar intake to 25 grams a day for 6 months. Come in and let's get your weight and vitals and a couple of labs; then come back in 6 months and find out how they have changed. Here's some simple guidance for reducing sugar. Ready to detox: Here's how.
For those who want to really dig in to the latest research, I highly recommend the book, Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
STEPS TO TAKE NOW:
Here's a guide to reducing sugar in your diet.
UCSF has produced important research on the wide ranging negative effects of sugar in our diets. Check out these UCSF websites and other resources for important information that could literally add years to your life: