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  • How Much Sugar is in Your Diet?

    How Much Sugar is in Your Diet?


    The World Health Organization (WHO) has just published its new guidelines for sugar consumption for adults. Since 2002, the recommendation was less than 10% of calories; the new recommendation is half of that: less than 5%.

    Sugar consumption has been getting a lot of attention lately in the scientific community and the news. Last month, JAMA published a study suggesting that those who consume more calories from added sugar have an increased risk of dying from heart disease. Many other studies are linking sugar-sweetened drinks to current obesity problems. A recent report in the CMAJ stated that obesity rates in Canada are soaring; tripling from 6% to 18% from 1985 to 2011, and projects it will hit 21% in 2019.

    Moreover, emerging research suggests that sugar consumption may be linked to diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Robert Lustig, a childhood obesity expert at the University of California, San Francisco, goes as far as to say that “sugar is toxic beyond calories.”


    WHO suggests adults should limit sugar intake to 6 tsp. (24 g) per day. This includes sugars that are added in processed foods (glucose, fructose, sucrose, table sugar and sugars in honey, syrup, fruit juices and fruit concentrates). It does not include those naturally found in fresh fruit and vegetables.


    Stats Canada reports that average Canadians consume up to 26 tsp. per day. That’s about 40 kg or 20 bags per year!!

    WHERE YOU FIND HIDDEN SUGARS: 4 grams of sugar = 1 tsp.

    To put the recommendation into perspective, just 1 can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar or about 10 teaspoons! That alone puts someone over the new guideline. And sugar is added to just about everything, even 1 Tbsp. of Ketchup has 1 tsp. sugar. So make sure to read the nutrition facts label carefully.

    To boot, the food industry is very clever at disguising the word sugar; there are currently more than 50 terms for sugar! Ask our nutritionist how you can effectively reduce sugar in your diet.

    Helen Spremulli
    Bodyworx Vitality Nutritionist


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