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Ryan Bruin

Bio 1010
Professor Jonathan
Apr 7

It is apparent that there are a number of health concerns related to sugar


consumption. Though not all sugars are completely unhealthy for us, it is important that
we consume natural sugars in moderation. But what is the difference between natural and
added sugars? According to heart.org added sugar is defined as sugars and syrups put in
foods during preparation or processing, or added at the table; whereas natural sugars are
found naturally in foods such as fruit and milk. As a grown male, I am recommended to
consume less than 150 calories worth of added sugar per day according to the American
Heart Association; that is equivalent to about 9 teaspoons. Upon reading these
recommendations the first thing I did was take into account how essential it was for me to
understand these metrics. After doing some research and simple math, I found that the
150 calories worth of added sugar was equivalent to 38 g. As I have tracked and
monitored my diet these last four days, I have been taking into account my grams, and
that is the metric I will be using throughout this paper. Some of the health risks associated
with the over-consumption of added sugars are the simple things like poor nutrition, and
cavities to the more serious diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In order to
gage my added sugar consumption, and to really see where I was at on the spectrum of a
proper diet, I tracked my food with the Myfitnesspal application for four days straight. I

was shocked at my sugar consumption and being aware has helped me to clean up my
eating for the last couple of days, I can say I already feel better and have more energy!
I have to say that when I first started I realized that the application wouldnt
differentiate between natural sugar and added sugar for me, and that I would have to
figure that out myself. According to eatingwell.com, there are many different aliases for
sugar. Therefore, when checking the label, you cant just look for the sugar ingredient
because it comes in many different forms. I started tracking my food on Thursday April
7th, and went for four consecutive days, just in time for the weekend. I used the
myfitnesspal application and looked at nutrition labels when available to track my
food. Thursday was the best day for me, I only had 38 total grams of sugar this day and
only 16 g of it was added sugar. Friday, my wife had a bridal shower at our home and had
a dessert bar, so the leftovers made for delicious unhealthy snacking for the remainder of
the day. In my breakfast alone, I had 22 g of sugar. By the time the day was over I had
eaten a total of 84 grams of sugar, 63 of which were added. Saturday I actually was
surprised to see how well I did in terms of sugar. I didnt eat very clean otherwise though.
I totaled at only 16 g of added sugar with 34 g total. Sunday is my sweet day typically,
but I didnt realize how much added sugar I was putting in my body almost even
intentionally! Typically I wait until Sunday to eat all my sweets and I just now realized
how much added sugar I was internalizing. I totaled a whopping 73 g of just added sugar
alone, and had 103 g sugar total on Sunday. In total over the span of four days, I had a
total of 259 g of sugar, and 168 g were added sugars.
As previously stated the recommended daily value for added sugar consumption
for an adult male is 38 g. Thursday I was 22 g short of my limit, whereas on Sunday I

was 41 g over my target goal. Over the span of four days, I should have consumed
exactly 152 g of sugar, and I had 259 g! I was shocked to see that I was over my amounts
by over 100 g! It really put into perspective for me that I need to find a balance, and
regulate my added sugar consumption. I found that on average I was consuming close to
65 g of added sugar a day. It is extremely alarming especially when being exposed to
such scary consequences.
The items that contributed the most to my added sugar, were baked goods like
cookies, donuts, and pastries! I received a lot of added sugar from syrup and sweet peanut
butter as well. My wife and I both have such a sweet tooth but I understand that finding
alternatives is essential! Lucky for me, despite her sweet tooth, my wife has a true love
and passion for living a healthy balanced lifestyle. Typically, with exceptions to my two
horrible days, I like to eat clean and limit my added sugars. Though I have found that I
am very polarized in this department. For example, if you compare Thursday to Sunday,
It was one extreme to the other. If I eat one brownie, Ill have ten, if I eat clean until 5:00
PM, I am good for the rest of the evening. Some things my wife has introduced me to that
can really limit the amount of added sugar I consume is raw almond butter, coconut
syrup, Arctic Zero Ice Cream instead of HaagenDas, and a Green Tea HP instead of
Gatorade, or sugary juices! To compare the two ice-cream brands, Haagen Daas Cookie
Dough has 19 g of added sugar, whereas Arctic Zero Cookie Dough only has 8 g. My
daily Gatorade has 22 g of added sugar where a Green Tea HP has 0 g. If I made that one
simple change, to replace my Gatorade, it would take my daily average down to 43 g of
added sugar vs. 65 g! That alone, with a few other minor replacements would take me to
a better place physically, mentally, and emotionally!

I think that due to my wifes healthy lifestyle, and my typical eating habits, on a
normal week my added sugar isnt too much. However, if I continued to eat the way I
did on Friday, and Sunday I would be in trouble in terms of my health. According
to heart.org the over-consumption of added sugars add to your risk of dying from Heart
Disease! I like the way Dr. Mercola said it Most people view sugary foods as tasty,
satisfying, and irresistible treats. But I believe that there are three words that can more
accurately describe sugar: toxic, addicting, and deadly. It is true that sugar is silently
killing us. People dont realize that sugar and added sugars are found in our daily foods
such as bread, and even the lighter vinaigrette dressing options! I have learned through
this experiment, assignment, and research that sugar is extremely abundant in our every
day diets, and we are sometimes naive to it. Something that really stood out to me is how
differently our bodies absorb added sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucralose, etc.
I read a study done by Dr. Robert Lustig a professor of pediatrics in the Division of
Endocrinology at the University of California and a pioneer in decoding sugar
metabolism regarding the way our bodies metabolize sugar vs. added sugars. It was
terrifying and eye opening.
If I continued to eat poorly, and over-consuming added sugars like I did this past
weekend I can expect potential liver damage due to the over-load on my liver, obesity,
possible diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and a debilitating life-style! Some things I
am committed to in order to stay healthy and limit my added sugar intake, is keep my
Myfitnesspal application, log daily, and make adjustments where needed! I am wearier of
added sugars such as Fructose and Sucralose, as well as refined carbohydrates that break
down into sugar once digested! I can limit my Gatorade consumption as well, and work

on not binging on my sweet Sundays! This assignment has been really eye opening for
me, and I finally have a greater understanding as to why my wife takes this so seriously,
and for that I am grateful!