We all know sugar is something we can’t get rid of. And frankly, we don’t even want to but the World Health Organization believes otherwise. According to new WHO guidelines, sugar should be cut down even more, to less than 10%.
The U.N health agency considers that sugar intake should be minimized to portions ranging from 6 to 12 teaspoons daily. This is a bit complicated, especially for the soda lovers out there as a single can already contains the maximum recommended limit.
These guidelines focus mainly on sugar contained in processed foods like ketchup and cereals as well as syrups, honey and fruit juices. These recommendations do not apply to fruits, vegetables and milk as they contain essential nutrients.
Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s nutrition department explained that this decision was made based on the solid evidence that proved how limiting level of consumed sugar to less than 10 percent “reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay”. Other risks include cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
In the U.S, sugar intake represents 13 percent (or 268 calories) of the daily amount of calories. That is the equivalent of 18 teaspoons. In Europe, sugar intake varies according to country. In Hungary and Norway, for example, it’s 7 percent while in Portugal it’s close to 25 percent.
WHO made an initial suggestion to place the limit of sugar intake to around 10 percent but later decided it should be minimized to 5 percent as eating even less sugar is presumably even healthier, although there is currently no solid data in favor of that hypothesis.
According to Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, “to get down to 5 percent, you wouldn’t even be allowed to have orange juice”. He added that some populations like most of Americans and people living in Europe might be able to cut down sugar intake to 10 percent if they avoid consuming sugary drinks, cereal, beer, cookies and various candies.
Some companies have already come up with solutions to the sugar problem. Coca-Cola for example, released its Coca-Cola Life which contains a mix of sugar and stevia, a natural sweetener.
Although this might sound like a solution, in order to prevent all complications, it is better to avoid such sugar sources completely. Or to at least try…
Image Source: Juicepresso