THE SUGAR GENERATION AND
average American eats about 155 pounds of sugars a year!
or 39 teaspoons day!*
We are drowning in sugar and we have
developed a relentless sweet tooth:
Three fourths of our sugar intake is in the
form of prepared foods like soft drinks and candy.
Each of us in America eats
about 147 pounds of sweetener a year.
adds up to around one teaspoon of sugar every half-hour, for 24 hours a day or
500 calories worth of sugar a day!
It is recommended
that bout 10 percent of total calories come from sugar.
But Americans consume 15.7 percent on average or their
calories in sugar, and some eat far more. This means twenty five percent of the
calories we eat and fifty percent of the calories most kids eat are from sugar!
Sugar or sucrose is known by several names,
depending on its from and how it is processed . You can recognize some sugars
because their names end in –use like dextrose, glucose fructose, lactose,
maltose, Some other types of sugars are sugar alcohols: sorbitol, xylitol ,
mannitol. Some other forms of sugar
are corn syrup, maple sugar, honey, invert sugar, or malt .
Sugar is in almost everything you buy to eat
today. The reasons for this are
that sugar is used:
to add flavor to
as a preservative in
and it is naturally occurring in many foods.
Sugar intake and nutrition have a direct
influence on the progression of tooth decay.
We all have plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that
constantly forms on the surfaces of our teeth.
When this bacteria comes in contact with sugar the acidity of our mouth
becomes 100 times greater because the sugar acts as a food source for the
In less than 20 minutes after the bacteria has been in contact with
sugar these acids start attacking and dissolving your tooth enamel to cause
mineral loss from the surfaces of your teeth leaving them ripe for cavities The longer this sugar is in contact with our
teeth the greater chance of tooth decay.
1 teaspoon of table sugar = about 5 grams
A pop having 50 grams of sugar is
the equivalence of 10 teaspoons of sugar
USDA advises 2,000 calorie healthful diet to limit to 10
teaspoons of sugar/day
Reasons to limit the amount of
sugar you eat:
Sugar has very limited nutritional value containing only
calories and lacking vitamins, minerals and fiber
High sugar foods often replace more healthful foods
who eat diets high in sugar get less calcium; fiber; folate; vitamin A, C and E;
zinc; magnesium; iron; other nutrients and consume fewer fruits and vegetables)
Promotes tooth decay
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The following things
increase the number and activity of
bacteria in our mouths:
Type of food- the stickiness of foods like, chewing gum,
raisins, dried fruits and some candies, will cause the food to adhere to and
between our teeth making the length of contact time of sugar with our teeth
longer which allows acid production to be prolonged.
Natural sugars have the same effect on teeth as refined sugar so you
still need to brush.
Frequency of intake-how often you eat foods containing
sugar is more important than the amount of the food consumed.
Oral hygiene status-the health of our mouth
Availability of fluoride-in our water, toothpaste, mouth
Salivary gland function-saliva helps wash away food from
our teeth and decreases the acidity or pH our mouth
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Sugar News Updates
Here are some of the findings from the
National Academy of Sciences has about areas of concern with
high sugar intake and its affect on health:
|Cancer: The panel cited five studies
showing a higher incidence of colorectal cancer among heavy
sugar users. (The risk is lower for those who get their
sugar from fiber-loaded sources such as fruit.) One study
suggested that sugar-rich, fiber-poor foods also are
associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.|
|Cholesterol: Bad news. "There is some
evidence that increased sugar intake is positively
associated with plasma triglycerol and low-density
lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol concentration," the panel
reported. Those are the "bad cholesterols" that
can contribute to heart disease. Sugars, particularly sucrose
and fructose, raise triacylglycerol more so than starches.~|
|Diabetes: Sugar doesn't cause it, but
eating too many calories --- from sweeteners, fat and all
sources --- can certainly lead to obesity, which heightens
the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.
|Diet: Increased consumption of added sugars
can lead to a decreased intake of vital nutrients. One
federal study shows that teenage girls, for example, replace
milk with sweetened soft drinks as they move into
adolescence, setting themselves up for later bone loss.
|Hyperactivity: It appears to have no
scientific basis. Two dozen studies have concluded that
sugar consumption does not lead to behavioral problems such
as attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder. In fact,
sugar can act as a sedative.
|Obesity: The panel reviewed dozens of
studies and found mixed results when it comes to proving a
direct link between added sugars and obesity. Part of the
cloudy picture may be a data problem; in surveys, people
tend to underreport what they've eaten, especially guilty
pleasure foods like snacks and desserts. The panel did
single out one food: sugared soft drinks. Two studies have
suggested that they promote obesity, perhaps because liquids
don't fill you up as much as solid food.
|Tooth decay: Your dentist was right:
Prolonged exposure to sugary foods, especially those that
stick to the teeth, promotes cavities. Starches can have the
same effect when they ferment and produce acids that eat
away at the enamel. The risk is related to the form,
retentiveness, composition of the sugar. Sugar
provides fuel for the action of oral bacteria, which in turn
lowers plaque and salivary pH., which in turn can start
tooth demineralization. The key is getting sugars and starches
off the teeth quickly by --- all together now --- brushing.
So why hasn't our growing sweet tooth produced a
catastrophic rise in dental caries? Probably because of
better oral hygiene widespread water fluoridation, dairy
products that act as buffers against tooth decay and
sugarless chewing gum especially containing xylitol~.|
Copyright 2002 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Click Sugar Recommendation
to continue article.
~Sugars and Health: Is there
an issue? Dr. Jones, Dr Elam, ADA August
2003 Vol 103 Number 8 pg 1058-1060
* Living in a Sugar Culture, DentalNotes
Winter 2001, pg 6.
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February 06, 2008
Dietary Guidelines Prevention Index
Nutrition Topics Index