Sugar is delicious, and eating it in small amounts can be quite harmless. Unfortunately, added sugar is everywhere, and it’s hard not to consume a lot of it on a regular basis.
“Most people in the United States eat too much sugar, most have added it, and most people are better off cutting down on sugar,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, assistant professor UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and author of Recipe for survival. “By eating a whole, less processed diet, you can achieve that goal of eating a lot less sugar.”
And while everyone can benefit from reducing their sugar intake, certain types of people may want to monitor their added sugar intake regularly. Read on to see if you’re one of those people who needs to cut back on sweets, and to learn more, don’t miss 5 worst eating habits for sugar cravings, says the dietitian.
People with diabetes may be advised by their doctor to limit their intake of added sugar.
“While this is true for both type and type 2 diabetics, people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar more easily than those with type 1 diabetes. Reducing your sugar intake can help with weight loss , which will simultaneously help regulate your blood sugar and reverse your type 2 diagnosis,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LDdietitian at Balance One Supplements.
High blood pressure is an extremely common problem among Americans, and diet plays an important role in managing blood pressure levels. For this reason, people with high blood pressure may want to monitor the amount of sugar they consume daily.
According to a 2019 study published in Nutrients, people with hypertension (high blood pressure) may be able to lower their blood pressure by reducing their sugar intake. This study also found that replacing added sugar with natural sugar sources like fruit may also help.
People with a family history of heart disease should also watch their sugar intake. “The consumption of sugary drinks may contribute to weight gain and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” says Janet Coleman, Dt.P., dietitian with The Consumer Mag. “Sugary drinks contain calories without providing nutrients, so they should be replaced with other nutrient-dense foods. For example, people can replace the calories in sugary drinks by eating more fruits and vegetables or drinking coffee or unsweetened tea instead of soda.”
Reducing your sugar intake is not the answer to living with depression or anxiety, but it can help relieve some of the symptoms. If you’re going through something like this, you might want to talk to a professional for help.
“People with anxiety and/or depression, or those at risk for these conditions, should reduce their sugar intake. Eating lots of added sugars can lead to chronic inflammation. And chronic inflammation is linked to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Instead, focus on increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains,” says the dietitian. Lindsay Delk, RDN.
Ultimately, many Americans consume too much added sugar, so most people in this general population could benefit from reducing their intake.
“Most people should reduce their sugar intake, and the World Health Organization (WHO) states that adults and children should focus on reducing their sugar intake as much as they can. due to the nutritional makeup of foods high in sugar, they are mostly empty calories providing about 10 percent of daily calorie intake while not providing a significant source of vitamins or minerals,” says Best.